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Numerical Simulation of the Howard Street Tunnel Fire, Baltimore, Maryland, July 2001



Kevin B. McGrattan, Anthony P. Hamins


This report addresses the thermal environment of the Howard StreetTunnel in Baltimore, Maryland, following the derailment in July 2001of a freight train and the burning of spilled tripropylene andthe contents of surrounding rail cars.A numerical fire model developed by the National Institute of Standardsand Technology (NIST) has been used to simulate the fire's growth andspread in the tunnel. The fire model has been validated for this applicationusing temperature data collected during a series of fire tests conductedat a decommissioned highway tunnel in West Virginia. The cross-sectionalarea of the tunnel and the fire sizes used in the West Virginiatests are similar to the Howard Street Tunnel.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 6902
Report Number


Baltimore, Howard Street Tunnel, Numerical Simulation, Tunnel Fire


McGrattan, K. and Hamins, A. (2003), Numerical Simulation of the Howard Street Tunnel Fire, Baltimore, Maryland, July 2001, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 18, 2024)


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Created January 1, 2003, Updated August 3, 2009