Trains Too Wide (From our “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” Department)

Apparently, railroad officials in France have never heard of the carpenter’s maxim, “measure twice, cut once.”

According to Reuters News Service, the French national rail company, Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français (SNCF), has order 2000 new trains for an expanded regional service network that are too wide for many of the station platforms along the route.

The mistake allegedly occurred as a result of outdated information on platform dimensions transmitted to the SNCF, the operators of rail network, from Réseau Ferré de France (RFF), the owners of the network. The RFF provided dimensions of platforms that had been built within the past 30 years. But most of the country’s 1200 station platforms were built in the 1960s or earlier and are too narrow to accommodate the new trains.

Repair work on the older stations has already cost a reported $110 million.