RET Rotterdam
Rotterdam, Holanda

CFD modelling of the stationRET Rotterdam smoke testsSmoke extract fans

Project Details:

  • Location: Rotterdam, Holland
  • Client and End User: RET
  • Main Contractor: R.E.M
  • Consulting Engineer: Mott MacDonald


Colt provided a solution to be used within an underground station to provide smoke control and smoke containment in the event of an emergency.


Underground stations in the Netherlands must be subjected to a much higher standard of safety than before. In 2002 RET began to research how to improve its existing stations, in association with the Water Authority and the Municipality of Amsterdam. This resulted in a pilot scheme of fire protection for Eendrachtsplein Station undertaken by the contractor R.E.M. and project managed by RET.

In 2004, Mott MacDonald was commissioned to carry out research. In 2005, BOMB (the fire research centre for underground railways) set up two working parties (one for railway tunnels and the other for trams and underground railway tunnels) with aim of coordinating the security level of underground tunnels, according to the changed legislation. The recommendations of these working parties were published in 2007. These included among other things two conditions:

  • The escape routes have to be available for 4 minutes
  • The escape routes need to be smoke free for 10 metres

These recommendations were adopted.

Following a European invitation to tender, the contractor R.E.M. awarded the contract to Colt on the basis of the best quality proposal. Colt provided the complete scope of works, from design to installation. The project went well and already in 2007, the customer had a more or less completely functioning installation which could be controlled manually. Only the link to the fire communicating call centres had still to be made.

Successful tests

A first smoke test was carried out in July 2008 to the client’s satisfaction, but this test was limited since it used cold smoke. In February 2009 a hot smoke test was carried out, and this confirmed the validity of the modelling that Colt had carried out.

A video showing the smoke test carried out for the RET Rotterdam Stadhuis station is availble on Youtube. Following this smoke test Colt obtained 3 new contracts with RET for stations at Eendrachtsplein, Leuvehaven, Beurs, and Wilhelminaplein.

The Colt design approach

Colt’s design approach includes looking at all aspects of the client’s requirements. Its took the approach that the use of a combined mechanical smoke extraction system with automatic drop down curtains would not only best realise the client’s objectives of a smoke free zone, but also best suit the daily normal usage of the station.

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