Subway and Underground Transit

WSP has experience with underground transit systems such as subways and metros, providing services for both civil works and rail systems.

Subways, metros, and underground transit systems are used in large urban areas, particularly those with a congested downtown. Since the opening of the first metro line, in 1863 in London, more than 200 cities around the world have adopted this mode of transportation.

Underground transit systems offer the highest capacity and most efficient urban transport, especially when they are combined with state-of-the-art train control and signalling systems, adding safety and reliability.

Now more than ever, transportation planners face increasing challenges when building new lines or upgrading existing metro infrastructure. Working in confined urban settings requires state-of-the-art expertise.

More than 130 Years of Experience with Underground Transit Systems

WSP has a long experience with underground transit systems such as subways and metros. We were involved in the construction of the New York City subway, at the end of the 19 century. Since then, we have worked on the development of some of the world’s best-known and larges metro systems in cities such as London, Dubai, Sydney, San Francisco, and Toronto.

Since 2005, we have provided project management and design supervision services on a 14- mile (22-kilometre) section of the Shenzhen Metro Line 3 extension in China. Noteworthy features include a distinctive double-deck design for the maintenance depot to accommodate housing and maintenance of 34 six-car trains. The use of a 1,500 V DC third-rail traction power supply system reduces the negative visual impact of the system. Special measures were taken to preserve land for prime real estate development along the line. Our team also assisted with the development of a viable financial model for the project; this model is now the standard that will be adopted for future line expansions within Shenzhen.



City Line is one of the most complex construction projects in Sweden. It improves mobility in the heart of Stockholm.

WSP Expertise in Subway and Underground Transit

WSP provides services for both civil works and rail systems. We provide advice on design, operations, and maintenance and systems enhancements to ensure your underground transit system meets growing demand. Here are some specific services:

  • Automated train control
  • Signalling
  • Traction power systems
  • Rolling stock
  • Communications
  • Elevated structures design and engineering
  • Track design
  • Operations planning and simulations
  • Station area urban design (“placemaking”)
  • Delivery process
  • Development of standards and criteria for public agencies
  • Research on special subsystems,
  • Complete system development
  • System concept
  • Engineering design
  • Technical and economic feasibility assessments