Red faces in France because of “too wide” trainsBack to Forum
Anonymous21 May 2014
France’s rail network and operating firm SNCF are supposed to be the pride of Europe … so how did they get it so wrong with their new trains ?
According to the BBC, 2,000 new trains (costing Euros 20.5 billion) are too wide for many regional platforms.
Modifications will cost tens of millions of Euros.21 May 2014
I liked the comment from the transport minister that this mistake was the product of separating the company operating the tracks from the company operating the trains. It’s a wonder it hasn’t happened here.21 May 2014
What makes this story all the more embarrassing was the repeated attempts by Alstom (the train manufacturer) to try and prevent it only to be told their advice was not required. Here in Switzerland the story was covered on the breakfast TV and the CEO of Alstom was interviewed. He said they raised it in meetings, by email and in a number of phone calls but the instructions were never changed.21 May 2014
Considering they are spending €15bn on new trains – having to fork out a few quid to modernize platforms isn’t that big an issue. More that they didn’t listen to Alstom (if that is factually correct) and do something about it a little bit sooner than when they are ready to run.21 May 2014
If this wasn’t embarassing enough, SNCF has just announced it will go on strike at 20.00hrs tonight until 08.00 on Friday morning.
Please note that Eurostar may not be affected greatly as it’s a separate division. If you intend using Eurostar during this period, I would suggest you check directly with the operator.21 May 2014
A strike in France ? I am shocked, it’s not often one sees that.
Perhaps the retirement at 56 on final salary pension, free first class rail travel for life and a working week of 37 hours is not enough for them ?21 May 2014
To paraphrase Captain Renault, I am shocked, shocked to hear that there is to be public transport strike in France.
But if it’s because they are only able to retire at 56 on a final salary pension with free first class rail travel for life, then they clearly have a just cause for complaint after being regaled for two hours by a Greek harbour master who was being made to work on beyond 50….
It went a long way towards explaining why the entire Greek economy subsequently imploded.21 May 2014
Despite I’m living and working in France I won’t retire at 56, my pension won’t be calculated on my final salary, I won’t travel first class for the rest of my life and my working week is far longer than 37 hours.
You should update your knowledge about France especially about strikes in France.21 May 2014
It might be that my knowledge of French employment law is a bit rusty – I was last there in February – but does not the “trente-cinq” working hours rule still apply? That’s what a friend who deals with inter alia employment law for a US multi-national was saying recently – because they were still trying to find a workaround to this particular piece of French legislation.21 May 2014
I work for a company which operates a factory in France. To quote a senior Director ‘we must have been mad to start a factory in France’
It’s been open since 1992 and has done it’s best to drag the whole company down with it’s inflexibility to change21 May 2014
As France is the 4th country in the world in terms of foreign direct investments, should we say that the financial and business community is mainly composed by mad people ?21 May 2014