Measure Twice, Cut Once: France’s National Rail Company Just Realised The 2,000 Trains It Ordered Are Too Wide For The Platforms


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Well this is embarrassing. SNCF is the butt of jokes on the social media as well as television.

France’s national rail company SNCF has admitted the 2,000 new trains it ordered at a cost of 15 billion euros ($20.5bn, £12.1bn) are too wide for many of the platforms in the country.

Work on altering the platforms to fit the new trains has already begun at a cost of 80 million euros ($110m, £65m), with hundreds still requiring repairs.

Shown above is workmen at the Cagnes-sur-Mer railroad station.

The error appears to have occurred because the national rail operator RFF gave SNCF measurements for platforms built less than 30 years ago, missing the fact the majority of France’s 1,200 platforms were actually built over 50 years ago when trains were thinner.

RFF spokesman Christophe Piednoel told France Info radio:

We discovered the problem a bit late, we recognize that and we accept responsibility on that score.

France’s transport minister Frederic Cuvillier blamed the “absurd rail system”, a reference to the decision by a previous government to separate the national rail operator and train company.

 “When you separate the rail operator (RFF) from the user, SNCF, it doesn’t work,” he told BFMTV.

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