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

Well this is embarrassing.

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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.

FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP / Getty

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.

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.

We discovered the problem a bit late, we recognise 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.

FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP / Getty Images

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

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