PARIS – They measured the new trains, they checked against the latest specs on the book. But engineers at the French railway network forgot to go and measure the actual distance between lines and platforms, and it will cost 50 million euros ($68 million) to fix the problem.
Nearly 1,300 stations are just a few centimeters (inches) too narrow for the order of 341 trains, which were to be introduced between now and 2016. The problem with older stations was first reported in the French weekly Le Canard Enchaine and confirmed Wednesday by French railway and government officials.
Jacques Rapoport, president of rail infrastructure organization RFF, acknowledged the problem was "discovered a little late," but told Europe 1 radio that the cost would not be passed on to customers.