Costly blunder leaves French rail companies red-faced

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Costly blunder leaves French rail companies red-faced

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French rail operator RFF has been embarrassed following a costly mix-up over a planned network expansion.

An RFF spokesperson confirmed the SNCF rail company had ordered 15 billion euro worth of new trains that are too wide for most platforms.

Investors are indignant about the mistake.

“We refuse to pay a single cent for these repairs,” said Alain Rousset, President of the Association of Regions of France. “We cannot be taken for fools and pay for the privilege!”

Satirical newspaper Le Canard Enchaîné broke the story. The blunder appears to have happened when the RFF gave SNCF wrong dimensions; dimensions based on newer, larger stations when most of the country’s regional platforms are more narrow.

Work to alter the affected stations has already started, reportedly at a cost of around 50 million euro to date.

But it risks being an arduous process, with a thousand platforms still in need of adjustment, according to officials.