The situation at The Hague Central Station is changing following its conversion into a multi modal transit terminal and the implementation of gate lines. However, these gate lines could form a barrier during an evacuation. The fire department therefore requested an investigation to establish the impact of these gate lines on evacuation times in order to ensure safe evacuation of the station.

Pedestrian flows simulated

Evacuation safety can be tested using the MassMotion passenger flow simulation model. At the start of the evacuation, passengers are in trains, at platforms, in the central hall, commercial areas and offices. In the simulation model, they are evacuated to destinations around the station. In doing so, they opt for the fastest escape route out of the station, based on the length of queues at the gate lines, the available exits, people queuing at the exits and the number of people using the different escape routes. In the event of congestion, passengers in the simulation will themselves opt to alter their escape route if necessary.

The simulation provides insight into a number of important safety aspects and indicators relating to evacuation:

  • The duration of a complete evacuation
  • The escape times of individual passengers
  • Delays and congestion caused by queues at the gates.

The analysis showed that the resulting delay is slight and that safe evacuation is possible. The evacuation times do not exceed the legal standards.