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French Red Faces Over Trains That Are 'too Wide'

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-27497727

The French train operator SNCF has discovered that 2,000 new trains it ordered at a cost of 15bn euros ($20.5bn; £12.1bn) are too wide for many regional platforms.

The BBC's Christian Fraser in Paris says that it is an embarrassing blunder that has so far cost the rail operator over 50m euros ($68.4m; £40.6m).

Our correspondent says that the cost is likely to rise even further.

Construction work has already started to reconfigure station platforms.

The work will allow new trains room to pass through. But officials say that there are still 1,000 platforms to be adjusted.

Now this is a genius way to add numbers to GDP!

Can't wait for our train companies to follow with the announcement that your train has been delayed because it's too wide for the platform!

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That's not very French! They are good at trains!

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theyve ordered 2000 new trains..one would have thought theyd have noticed with the first one off the assembly line.

Still 2000 trains...I dont think we have that many in the whole of the UK. Theres your EUROPOUND hard at work...in Europe.

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The French Socialists want to reunify the track and train operators; this story has probably been leaked to support the "look what happens when these two companies are separate" line. A lot of new rolling stock requires modifications to infrastructure. If we end up with better trains at the expense of upgrading some 100 year old platforms that is a good thing. The cost of modifications quoted (50 million) seems like a drop in the ocean compared to the budget (15 billion).

At a lot of French stations the platform is just a strip of tarmac close to ground level so there doesn't seem to be a clearance issue - although they stop the handicapped and infirm accessing trains. If those platforms get upgraded it will be a good thing.

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If, on the other hand, it doesn't really make much practical difference to the trains other than meaning they don't fit it's a bad thing.

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Would they still have bought these even if they knew ?

Bit of an oversight either way if they didn't - pretty basic check you would think !!

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Would they still have bought these even if they knew ?

Bit of an oversight either way if they didn't - pretty basic check you would think !!

I'm afraid engineering cockups, the good ones, only get noticed, at the end of a project!

I had a client telling me his water meter was reading a bit low! When I looked at it is was working fine, but this was a big water meter designed for a 4 inch pipe! Actually they had a 1 inch incoming supply, and some comical plumbing managed to get this meter to fit on it! The Engineer's perfect response, is "it's not our problem". I hope the architects got a shafting!

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Was it Southeastern who ordered a bunch of shiny new trains then realised there was insufficient traction current to run them?

Knew electric railways were a bad idea :)

As for the French trains, so what? They don't need to actually run them when they're all on strike anyway.

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I've been on French trains. Double deckers that hack down from Paris to the south at almost 200mph. They're fantastic.

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The French Socialists want to reunify the track and train operators; this story has probably been leaked to support the "look what happens when these two companies are separate" line. A lot of new rolling stock requires modifications to infrastructure. If we end up with better trains at the expense of upgrading some 100 year old platforms that is a good thing. The cost of modifications quoted (50 million) seems like a drop in the ocean compared to the budget (15 billion).

At a lot of French stations the platform is just a strip of tarmac close to ground level so there doesn't seem to be a clearance issue - although they stop the handicapped and infirm accessing trains. If those platforms get upgraded it will be a good thing.

+1

Total non-story. Good on the French for getting even better trains. So what if some 50-year-old back-of-beyond stations need a bit of work. Sounds like a win for all concerned.

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Was it Southeastern who ordered a bunch of shiny new trains then realised there was insufficient traction current to run them?

Don't remember hearing that, but SE Trains are awful, so I wouldn't put it past then.

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I've been on French trains. Double deckers that hack down from Paris to the south at almost 200mph. They're fantastic.

I have been on them once - pretty amazing - nothing more to say

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What's a train? Is that what they used to call services?

I heard an announcement the other day asking people not to leave luggage in the aisle so the drinks trolley could "move through the service".

That's because we've got very few trains any more, we've just got oversized trams.

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Wasn't quite going that fast I don't think !!

But even the standard running speed is rather pacey. At one point we were parallel to a motorway and you almost felt you were passing strings of parked cars.

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But even the standard running speed is rather pacey. At one point we were parallel to a motorway and you almost felt you were passing strings of parked cars.

Think my one was about 180 mph. Paris to St Etienne for Scotland game in world cup 98 - can't remember much to be honest :)

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But even the standard running speed is rather pacey. At one point we were parallel to a motorway and you almost felt you were passing strings of parked cars.

Just once, I went to Paris on Eurostar. That was when it went from Waterloo (curiously named after a great French Defeat).

It was pretty slow navigating Penge, but once out of the tunnel in France, the electricity seemed "somehow better", and it really went! I was going to a welding conference, and I came back with a bag load of extremely ripe fromage!

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What's a train? Is that what they used to call services?

I heard an announcement the other day asking people not to leave luggage in the aisle so the drinks trolley could "move through the service".

'beverage trolley', surely?

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Just once, I went to Paris on Eurostar. That was when it went from Waterloo (curiously named after a great French Defeat).

I was on it recently and the train staff referred to the London end as 'San Poncras'. A little bit of France in the heart of London.

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I was on it recently and the train staff referred to the London end as 'San Poncras'. A little bit of France in the heart of London.

Merde alors! Non c'est possible!

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