France's New Trains Too Wide for Platforms

France's national rail company has 2,000 new trains for an expanded regional network.

A spokesman for RFF (Reseau Ferre de France), the national rail operator, confirmed the trains are too wide for many station platforms, thus causing costly repairs.

The mix up arose when RFF transmitted faulty dimensions for its train platforms to the national rail company, SNCF (Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer), which was in charge of ordering the trains as part of a broad modernization effort.

A new Regiolis regional train made by power and train-making firm Alstom, is seen next to a platform at Strasbourgs railway station on May, 21, 2014. /Reuters A new Regiolis regional train made by power and train-making firm Alstom, is seen next to a platform at Strasbourg's railway station on May, 21, 2014. /Reuters

The platform dimensions given were for those built less than 30 years ago, but most of France's 1,200 platforms were built more than 50 years ago.

Construction work has already begun to reconfigure station platforms to give the new trains room to pass through, but hundreds more remain to be fixed. 

The repair work has already cost some $110 million.

VOA News / May 22, 2014 08:08 KST