..but French trains DO get fat

May 22nd, 2014, 10:24 PM
  #1  
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..but French trains DO get fat

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.

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

Oops.
PatrickLondon is online now  
May 23rd, 2014, 01:48 AM
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Actually, it's the platforms that got thin.
Dukey1 is offline  
May 23rd, 2014, 02:36 AM
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If the trains try to go into the stations, they will get thinner, the trains and the platforms both.
Nikki is offline  
May 23rd, 2014, 03:28 AM
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This is a blunder for the record books with far reaching effect. Looks like the French went out of their way to redefine stupid on this one.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
May 23rd, 2014, 04:47 AM
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Actually the SNCF has been aware of the problem for a few years and began fixing the platforms a couple of years ago already, but you know how the media love to make an issue of things whenever they get a chance. The new trains correspond to the obligatory EU norms, so the SNCF would have had to buy them anyway. All of the platforms in the Paris metropolitan area have already been upgraded. We are talking about tiny stations in the middle of nowhere, which still exist as a public service. In many countries, the stations would have been closed 20 years ago so no one would have cared about the size of the platforms.
kerouac is online now  
May 23rd, 2014, 05:09 AM
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The point is, a "problem" like this should not exist. The media may like to "make an issue of things whenever they get a chance," but better they make it now than wait until two trains collide because someone, somehow missed one of those platforms in a "tiny station."
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
May 23rd, 2014, 05:47 AM
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"We are talking about tiny stations in the middle of nowhere, which still exist as a public service."

We are talking about trains designed specifically to run on lines with these tiny stations. And about a state-owned infrastructure that appears to have handed the wrong gauge over to the state-owned train operating company.

And this nonsense about "EU norms, so the SNCF would have had to buy them anyway" is either a Kerouac invention, or the latest spurious excuse from France's unaccountable public-sector bureaucrats, clearly correctly assuming no-one in France would bother challenging their freshly-minted myth. Either way, it's simply untrue.

There's no mandatory "EU norm" for loading gauges: how can there be, since railways in the EU have at least half a dozen different gauges? So it simply isn't the case that SNCF needed to commission trains too fat.
flanneruk is offline  
May 23rd, 2014, 06:27 AM
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I thought your title was clever, Patrick. Even if no-one else got the reference.
RM67 is offline  
May 23rd, 2014, 06:49 AM
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Here is an article about the norms and what the SNCF had already done to conform to them: http://www.slate.fr/france/87379/ter-trop-larges-quais
kerouac is online now  
May 24th, 2014, 02:46 AM
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I'm sure that you will all be happy to know that the SNCF (in association with Go-Ahead) is taking over Thameslink Southern and Great Northern and also Saint Pancras station and is currently negotiating to be the operator of CrossRail and also the East Coast Main Line to Scotland. Maybe they will buy some big wide trains to use. ;-)
kerouac is online now  

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