New interior for Rotterdam trains and trams

6 November 2020
  • Mecanoo
  • Mecanoo
  • Mecanoo
  • Mecanoo
  • Mecanoo



Mecanoo create design to increase capacity and passenger comfort

Mecanoo have designed a new interior for RET, Rotterdam’s metro and tram company, in order to provide maximum capacity during rush hour and maximum comfort during off-peak hours. The challenge was to create a hospitable interior, while increasing transport capacity by more than 20%. Before the corona virus crisis, some routes had reached full capacity during rush hour, with RET anticipating that the number of travellers is set to increase again when a vaccine for COVID-19 becomes available. 

During the design process, Mecanoo researched various configurations for passengers as they travel either sitting or standing. This resulted in five modules including low and high chairs, benches, leaning elements and armrests. Facilities were integrated into the interior, such as cup holders, coat hooks, USB points, and storage for luggage, strollers, wheelchairs and bicycles.

Wayfinding has been improved with lighting integrated into the ceiling to help with orientation, while coloured areas in the floor indicate where passengers can rest and where they can move through the vehicles. Spacious exits and entrances ensure a smooth flow of passengers when disembarking and embarking. Colour nuances in the furniture are intended to create a dynamic and vibrant interior, but also reflect the different seating and reclining elements. The materials used are warm, vandal-resistant, easy to maintain and contribute to good acoustics.

The design is in an experimental pilot phase, and is currently being tested with the help of mock-up models, virtual reality experiences and customer research. Following this, the design will be further optimized and possibilities investigated for its implementation within existing metros.

Lucy Nordberg
TenderStream Head of Research

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