New French Trains Too Big for Many Stations, Reports Suggest

Oh merde. Perhaps, they should have better minded the gap.

Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français (SNCF), France’s national state-owned railway company, recently ordered 2,000 new trains to service its growing railroad network. The problem is the trains are too large for many of the stations they were intended to service, according to published reports.

To remedy the problem and remove a few centimeters from the platforms will apparently cost more than $68 million, reports suggest.

“We discovered the problem a bit late,” The Wall Street Journal quoted Christophe Piednoël, a spokesman for network owner Réseau Ferré de France (RFF), as telling French radio. “It’s as if you bought a Ferrari and when you come to park it in your garage you realize your garage isn’t exactly the right size for a Ferrari because you didn’t have a Ferrari before.”

The new trains are manufactured by Alstom and Bombardier.

“With the price of train tickets steadily rising over the years, this waste of public money is absolutely insufferable,” The Japan Times quoted Marine Le Pen, head of the National Front party, as saying.