New French Trains Too Wide For Platforms

A contract reportedly worth 12bn for up to 2,000 new trains in France has been derailed – after it was found the carriages were too wide for many platforms.

A total of 1,300 platforms out of a total of 8,700 would need to be modified, according to French media reports.

Although national rail operator RFF confirmed the error, the number of affected platforms was in dispute.

A spokesman for the company told French radio: “We discovered the problem a bit late, we recognise that and we accept responsibility on that score.”

The train order was designed to expand the network in regional France.

Work has already commenced on modifying hundreds of stations and trackside equipment also being relocated to accommodate the new trains.

The mistake was first reported by a French satirical magazine, which said incorrect measurements were given to SNCF.

SNCF was given dimensions for platforms built since the 1980s. However, the Reuters news agency said platforms in more than 1,000 locations built decades beforehand were a different size.

SNCF confirmed to Sky News there was “an issue” with new rolling stock.

It is believed that at least 182 new TER trains ordered from the engineering company Alstom last July were too wide for stations in 12 French regions.

Remedial work totalling ?80m (65m) has already been spent to get the procurement back on track.

French transport minister Frederic Cuvillier said an “absurd rail system” caused the error.

“When you separate the rail operator from the train company … this is what happens.”

21 May 2014 | 9:51 am – Source:

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