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Socialist-Motion Trainwreck: France Mistakenly Orders 2,000 Trains Which Are Too Wide For Its Platforms

Tyler Durden's picture


How does the New Normal saying go: "socialist-motion trainwreck"?

In a time before the New Normal "fairness doctrine" where socialized companies such as GM have 60% more recalls in 5 months than they had sales in the prior year, a story such as the following would belong at best to a surreal "Polak" joke. Unfortunately, in this centrally-planned day and age, it is all too real. Reuters reports that in order to boost GDP and to cement that even under hard-core socialism France is still a manufacturing powerhouse, the French national rail company SNCF had ordered some 2000 trains for an expanded regional network from the national rail operator RFF. There was just one problem: the trains were too wide.

And since the local station platforms can not fit the misshaped trains, France now has to spend countless millions and add to its already disturbing budget deficit  in order to repair and construct wider stations. The good news, of course, is that France gets to double count the benefit of the GDP "boost" - first for the screwed up train order, all thanks to some bureaucrat who didn't feel like double checking his numbers, and second to reconstruct all of its incompatible train stations. Surely this is the purest definition of economic "growth."

From Reuters:

A spokesman for the RFF national rail operator confirmed the error, first reported by satirical weekly Canard Enchaine in its Wednesday edition.


"We discovered the problem a bit late, we recognise that and we accept responsibility on that score," Christophe Piednoel told France Info radio.


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, he added.

How could such an idiotic mistake take place: does nobody double check anything under a socialist utopia? Apparently not:

The mix-up arose when the RFF transmitted faulty dimensions for its train platforms to the SNCF, which was in charge of ordering trains as part of a broad modernisation effort, the Canard Enchaine reported.


The RFF only gave the dimensions of platforms built less than 30 years ago, but most of France's 1,200 platforms were built more than 50 years ago. Repair work has already cost 80 million euros ($110 million).

Still, it wouldn't be a story about socialist success if it wasn't someone else's fault: apparently in this case the responsibility lay in the "absurd rail system" changes made by the previous government.

Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier blamed an "absurd rail system" for the problem, referring to changes made by a previous government in 1997. "When you separate the rail operator (RFF) from the user, SNCF, it doesn't work," he told BFMTV.

There is really nothing more to add except perhaps for this:

Q: How do you get a one-armed Polak Frenchman out of a tree?
A: Wave to him.


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Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:15 | 4779377 Slave
Slave's picture

Now they'll need to widen the platforms.

Keynesianism 101.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:16 | 4779385 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

I need a new keyboard. Holy shit that's funny.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:23 | 4779407 Town Crier
Town Crier's picture

C'est la vie.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:25 | 4779416 Latina Lover
Latina Lover's picture

How many gears are there in a French Tank?

Only 2, neutral and reverse.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:28 | 4779424 darteaus
darteaus's picture

French Army rifles for sale!

Never fired!  Dropped only once!

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:38 | 4779450 Keyser
Keyser's picture

I think I'm coming down with a case of Schadenfreude...


Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:49 | 4779468 knukles
knukles's picture

Economy is in Japanese Liquidity Trap
Economy is in European Planning Stage 1 


What could go wrong?


PS  Don't forget that the Opie&Cie administration is fawning the fuck all over a French Socialist Economics Book that makes Krugman look like a Libertarian

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:49 | 4779484 0b1knob
0b1knob's picture

California will buy them.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 21:00 | 4779531 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Why would anyone double check things when there is no accountability in Socialism.  No mention of anyone getting fired.  Just "well, I guess we have to fix this now."

This is no different than fining a TBTF bank for criminal behavior- they just pay the fine and move on.  INDIVIDUALS need to be fired/prosecuted or nothing changes.  (A fantasy in .gov world, I know, where an EPA employee was recently given his bonus even after he got caught watching 6 hours a day of porn- just like in the SEC a couple years ago).

As soon as you disconnect fucking up with swift punishment, the sociopaths take over and everyone is fucked.  Just like in the US.


Tue, 05/20/2014 - 21:13 | 4779575 spinone
spinone's picture

Exactly. Who got fired for the mistake. It's as bad as American banks and car manufacturers.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 21:19 | 4779612 Four chan
Four chan's picture

sounds like a shovel ready problem.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 22:28 | 4779823 andrewp111
andrewp111's picture

More like a problem for a nice diamond wet saw. Just cut 12 inches off those platforms.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 23:47 | 4779993 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Oh God! Not the Broken Train Station Fallacy.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 23:58 | 4780032 BTFDemocracy
BTFDemocracy's picture

Delete. Joke already posted below.

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 02:22 | 4780187 Double.Eagle.Gold
Double.Eagle.Gold's picture


EPA Worker watching porn == goodnews for Corporations


The downside is on a long enough timeline, we are all dead...

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 06:31 | 4780356 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

I worked in France many years ago as an engineer and found they are extemely theoretical in their mind set so as to avoid any one of them actually having to do something real and to then cast blame on a co-worker when it fails.

Asians are much the same in that they don't question authority.

The Russians however expect to blow up two or three tries along the way and consider it just working out the kinks.

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 09:44 | 4780930 dogbreath
dogbreath's picture

What about the Germans?  Mach schnell?   Ya gut

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 22:41 | 4779837 Manthong
Manthong's picture

Why are there so many trees on the Champs-Élysées ?

..because Germans like marching in the shade.


Wed, 05/21/2014 - 12:24 | 4781668 Analyse2
Analyse2's picture


Those emitting these kind of silly jokes should look themselves in a mirror and ask for the reason of such an unjustified stale hate

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 21:22 | 4779624 Againstthelie
Againstthelie's picture

It's not necessarily a Socialist phenomenon.

Have any of you looked at France these days? This country is already half Asian/African and White genocide is committed at full speed.

And since society and culture follows biology the third world population turns France/Europe into a 2nd and then a 3rd world country/continent. South Africa is the undeniable proove.


Tue, 05/20/2014 - 21:57 | 4779709 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Well, socialist governments (and by extension of being elected, the people) are allowing their "european culture" to be extinguished aren't they?

On the reverse side, that same "european culture" intruded itself into their world in the past, for king & country, wonder how they felt then? Course I'm biased, I've always looked at royal families as the first welfare families ;-)

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 06:49 | 4780387 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

european cultures. plural

yes, you are biased. yet you know it, so it's ok. ;-)

what you are missing is the historic & cultural experience of living on the biggest landmass of the planet, with hordes of invaders right behind the horizon, sometimes factual, sometimes imaginary, yet always there

what we are missing is the historic & cultural experience of living in a New World full of exiting new opportunities, and lots of space just asking to be settled

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 18:32 | 4782933 nmewn
nmewn's picture


Well, if you're including Asia in your land mass equation (and you are) there is plenty of land asking to be settled.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 21:52 | 4779722 bunzbunzbunz
bunzbunzbunz's picture

You are lonely and ignorant. Assumptions and generalizations are fun for everyone. It's spelled "proof" also. Goodness, retarded people are silly.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 22:04 | 4779758 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture



You, sir, are the lonely, ignorant, retarded person.

If culture doesn't matter, please explain why the African continent, with its abundant natural resources is a shithole of war, corruption and poverty.

I'm all ears...

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 22:19 | 4779795 bunzbunzbunz
bunzbunzbunz's picture

I'm fairly certain I didn't say culture doesn't matter. I'm fairly certain I was referring to the line: "And since society and culture follows biology" 

This is clearly unsubstantiated racism. Though, I suppose I didn't make that abundantly clear, perhaps purposely leaving my comment open to your predictable argument.

It's interesting that you should choose the continent of Africa when you could just as easily choose many rural towns in the United States (or any other country) - though you would have to replace the word 'war' with 'criminal activity'. And don't worry, whatever your culture is, there are people in the world that think it is revolting.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 23:00 | 4779900 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

Funny how we now use genetics to explain just about everything from disease propensities to intelligence, but once you go so far as to suggest that race (which is most definitely defined by genetics) could actually play into people's behaviors and culture, you are a hater and racist. Funny, ain't it? In the animal world we see people willing to pay millions for the semen of a winning race horse, or prize winning cattle, yet we dare not use genetics to project the behavior of any person, especially if they are of African descent. Political correctness demands we wear blinders, not for the sake of truth but the preservation of individual self esteem. And it doesn't hurt that these protected classes of people represent a significant voting base.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 23:52 | 4780013 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

Good argument.

Rebuttal:  Ben Carson vs Hillary Clinton.  Perhaps they are exceptions but there are a lot of exceptions.  Blacks only make up about 10% of the population of the US but we still elected Obama.  The same could be said about Europe in the past.  They were predominantly white and they voted for what they have now.

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 10:02 | 4781005 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

Well yes, there are always exceptions, but if 75% of a given group predictably act in a specific way, would we not be foolish to ignore it or otherwise act if it were not fact? We are constantly excusing large swaths of people acting in specific ways because of the "exceptions" and it just seems stupid if not suicidal, all for the sake of political correctness. There is a huge fear of being labeled as a racist or bigot for pointing out the obvious. Because not all Nazi's were evil people, I suppose we should have surrendered our arms in fear of harming one of the "exceptions".  We are so absolutely fearful of offending anyone that we have unilaterally disarmed ourselves. In our desperation to avoid any accountability for anything we are relegating responsibilities to machines and rules that act without direction, removing any personal responsibility. We can send soldiers into combat under threat of criminality if they happen to misjudge a threat, yet send drones in to kill without any conscience whatsoever. We treat our laws the same, where the law is the law and no judge or jury has the power to decide what actually makes sense. No one wants that responsibility. We have descended into madness out of a fear of responsibility. At some point we will all be held to account. Wake up.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 23:22 | 4779938 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

The other day, my wife had to explain to a female patient that "no, removing the clitoral hood does NOT increase sexual sensitivity," despite what her 'african' husband said.  Sometimes 'culture' is just downright incorrect!

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 09:47 | 4780945 Zerozen
Zerozen's picture

Maybe you should do some reading and learning:

Eventually (it might take 50 years), the many many people who think like you in the Western world are going to have to come around and drop the racial equality ideology, because there is not a SINGLE SHRED of evidence that it is based in reality.

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 02:25 | 4780189 Double.Eagle.Gold
Double.Eagle.Gold's picture

who gives a puck

stop worrying about how 'they' are fracking-up <insert your nation here> and do what your forebearers did... move.

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 04:57 | 4780264 Anasteus
Anasteus's picture

Trains too wide? No problem, it's just necessary to widen the railroad now. In fact, an ingenious way how to get rid of the French unemployment. And the government had best acquire a subsidy from the euro funds, which can be obtained for free.

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 05:31 | 4780302 negative rates
negative rates's picture

You get us in trouble?

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:29 | 4779428 Town Crier
Town Crier's picture

Je t'afficherai mes vitesses si vous m'afficherez le vôtre.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 21:56 | 4779741 max2205
max2205's picture

I ordered a Russian bride but her ass was too wide for my furniture. ...what should I do? 

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 22:21 | 4779799 Volkodav
Volkodav's picture

stop posting stupid crap?

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 22:28 | 4779820 bunzbunzbunz
bunzbunzbunz's picture

"In other news: internet traffic dropped by 89% in response to one zealous blogging website's commenter posting the suggestion that people 'stop posting stupid crap'...Comcast repsponded by doubling internet fees, citing increasing costs due to the inability to compress the same tripe repeated in various locations."


Tue, 05/20/2014 - 23:53 | 4780016 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

More like 99%.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 22:26 | 4779815 andrewp111
andrewp111's picture

Get wider furniture.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 22:28 | 4779821 bunzbunzbunz
bunzbunzbunz's picture

That was the joke.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 22:32 | 4779831 COSMOS
COSMOS's picture

lots of that in McUSA

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 02:26 | 4780190 Double.Eagle.Gold
Double.Eagle.Gold's picture

wide is good


pump it frequently enough and it might just slim down...

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 00:47 | 4780120 darteaus
darteaus's picture

Muchas gracias mi amigo!

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:37 | 4779445 countryboy42
countryboy42's picture

There is one forward gear as well in case some one attacks from the rear.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:47 | 4779481 Tortfeasor
Tortfeasor's picture

We originally built the C17 to carry the M1 Abrahms, the modified it so it was too wide to fit on the C17

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 02:28 | 4780191 Double.Eagle.Gold
Double.Eagle.Gold's picture

"too wide to fit on the C17"


No way, cite proof or be gone from here you crazy person


Tue, 05/20/2014 - 23:05 | 4779906 BidnessMan
BidnessMan's picture

If you have ever been to Verdun, you would not doubt the courage of the french soldier in WW1.


Tue, 05/20/2014 - 23:55 | 4780026 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

Just what the hell was the frog supposed to do?  Anything that moved was killed.  The only hope of survival was to dig a hole in the ground and hope someone can dig you out when you get buried by earth heaved up by artillery.  Nobody was brave - they just had no other choices.

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 16:09 | 4782413 Analyse2
Analyse2's picture

World War I cost France 1,697,800 dead, 4,266,000 wounded (of whom 1.5 million were permanently maimed) and 537,000 made prisoner or missing

— exactly 73% of the 8,410,000 men mobilized

Some context: France had 40 million citizens at the start of the war; 60% of men between the ages of 18 and 28 died or were permanently maimed

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 05:35 | 4784043 homonohumanus
homonohumanus's picture

We still lost ~500 000 people during world war II. It may be more than a lot of the surrounding countries... (even looking at %).

My gran father ended up in Germany for close to 5 years, working camp then farm working, out of his bataillon they were only two survivors...


We lost, and badly at it not that we were the only ones, they are historians that track plots within the high society of people that wanted it that way actually, betrayal or not anyway doesn't change the score.

Yet what tribute do all the counrties surrounding France paid to the war? I'm curious, Belgium, Netherland, Denmark, etc, all those countries that were indexed by Germany too?


I know the score, it is easier to point finger at France than to scrutinize how heroic its neighbours have been, and how heavy a tribute they paid to the war.


American got to look closer to History instead of believing in narratives that sounds more like tales or moral stories from La Fontainre than anything else... actually that is being unfair to Sir La Fontaine...

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 01:46 | 4780169 Nobody For President
Nobody For President's picture

Seen the new French Army Knife?

Six different corkscrews and a white flag. 

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 12:39 | 4781732 Analyse2
Analyse2's picture

These Jay Leno's style jokes are a bit tired !

You forgot to call them "Cheeseeating surrender monkeys" btw.

In fact this ugly disdain and pitiful jokes come from the firm refusal of the French to join America in Irak, in 2003.

Since France refused to go to Iraq, American warmongers and neo-cons made French army look like cowards – as a punishment.

But History has proved the French were right.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 05:20 | 4784037 homonohumanus
homonohumanus's picture

And now that we are the first follower of America's adventourous international ways (since Sarkozy), we have a nice place in lots of Hollywood movies...


As for this story it is much a do about nothing. it was planned that way, the story was purposefully mispresented for political motives (or their overlords will...).

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 06:15 | 4780338 The_Passenger
The_Passenger's picture

How many gears are there in a French Tank?

Six: five reverse and one forward for military parades.

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 14:18 | 4789306 Analyse2
Analyse2's picture

@Latina Lover

Racist joke ...

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:30 | 4779430 The Gooch
The Gooch's picture

It's "Polack", rayciss.

A Polish employee brought in a news article from Wisconsin today.

"Fucking Communists", he said.


Also, is Alstom involved?

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 21:26 | 4779630 spinone
spinone's picture

After reading about Dr. Korczak. I stopped making polish jokes.

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 01:14 | 4780145 OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

I am constantly learning from ZH commentors.


Wed, 05/21/2014 - 02:33 | 4780192 Double.Eagle.Gold
Double.Eagle.Gold's picture

Jerry Sanduskey shows Dr. Korczak in his family tree.

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 07:26 | 4780473 NorthPole
NorthPole's picture

How about the The Auschwitz Volunteer, Witold Pilecki?


The guy voluntarily went to Auschwitz, organized a resistance movement there, escaped, wrote the first report on Holocaust that got delivered to Churchill (who didn't want to listen), finally got executed by the Stalinist secret police in 1948.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 21:24 | 4779626 StateofFraud
StateofFraud's picture

Broken window for the win!

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:27 | 4779423 free_lunch
free_lunch's picture

I am imagining how the ones responsible for the technical part of the purchase must have felt when this was discovered? I feel sorry for them, how a simple mistake can have huge impacts..

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:31 | 4779434 sleigher
sleigher's picture

Measure twice, cut once.  Has a much bigger meaning when it isn't a 2x4.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 21:39 | 4779684 Leraconteur
Leraconteur's picture

Heck, on important jobs around the house I measure several times, put the tape measure/micrometer down, let it rest over night, and do it again the next day just to make sure. Write those figures down and make sure you are getting the same answer from repeated measurements.

If I replace an engine mount or chassis nut with the wrong size and strip a thread (whilst rebuilding a motorcycle), I have a huge problem.

Electricity doubly so. Pull that plug, put it where you can see it, and treble check and *still* have it on a GFCI. States has 120v - dangerous but not always fatal. Other countries it's 220v. You mess up, you fry.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 22:41 | 4779850 brown_hornet
brown_hornet's picture

It's amps that kill you, not volts.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 23:57 | 4780035 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

You have that backwards.  Cut twice then measure once.  It's even more efficient than broken windows.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:51 | 4779498 BlindMonkey
BlindMonkey's picture

And they would care why? Do you think that would be grounds to be fired in France?

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 02:34 | 4780193 Double.Eagle.Gold
Double.Eagle.Gold's picture

Turns out there was a small group of people on the technical team,

all of them interns.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:47 | 4779478 Millivanilli
Millivanilli's picture

Quelle fromage!

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:52 | 4779502 g'kar
g&#039;kar's picture

Government Unions 101 also.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 22:14 | 4779783 RebootCongress
RebootCongress's picture

In the early 90s in St. Louis, they promised that the MetroLink would take convention goers over to Illinois to play golf. FWIW, there still aren't any golf courses in East St. Louis:


Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:15 | 4779378 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

Fucking France. Just call it Schmucklandia.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:35 | 4779440 nmewn
nmewn's picture the man said, they'll widen the platforms, then get to work ripping up tracks. When they're all done in fifty years, it'll be time for new trains!

Fucking Forward!!!...ROTFL!!!

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 21:06 | 4779555 sushi
sushi's picture

If the just let themselves be invaded by the Germans the entire problem would be fixed in an afternoon.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 21:13 | 4779578 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Yes...but the actual costs could be horrifying ;-)

(Sorry, couldn't help myself)

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:15 | 4779379 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

And the SNCF didn't know that there were older platforms all across the country that were not wide enough?

I call bullshit, they're just breaking windows.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:26 | 4779417 Dagny Taggart
Dagny Taggart's picture

You read my mind. Somewhere Krugman is weeping with happiness.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:49 | 4779487 BrosephStiglitz
BrosephStiglitz's picture

Doesn't really matter whether it was planned, or unplanned.  It's still a significant piece of evidence about the inefficiency of government.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:17 | 4779391 GeorgeHayduke
GeorgeHayduke's picture

Sounds like something the pentagon would do.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:26 | 4779419 Latina Lover
Latina Lover's picture

Perhaps the Pentagon advised them, calling it the European Pivot, LOL.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 21:15 | 4779579 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

"These toilet seats aren't expensive enough."

Ouroboros raises his ugly head again (tail?).

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:19 | 4779396 SilverDOG
SilverDOG's picture

France was done a long long time ago. The wars between banks in the 1800's, disguised as Homeland security, put France in a hole it will never recover from. That is what happens when you are indebted by the the black sheep of the oligarchy banking family

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 05:58 | 4784051 homonohumanus
homonohumanus's picture

For long as a retard teenageer I used to reject anything related to the "Ancient régime" and the Kings of France.

Now I've to aknowledge that the fall of the King of FRance was the fall of France altogether...

Not too mention the burning of the the civil registers held by the church is something extremely suspsicious and weird to do.


Honoré de Balzac was so right...

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:24 | 4779411 CunnyFunt
CunnyFunt's picture

The mistaken one(s) likely will be promoted. 

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:25 | 4779413 Frozen
Frozen's picture

Also measured with a ruler so you know it's accurate.  Creating more (wasteful) work, the broken window dream.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:25 | 4779415 Zirpedge
Zirpedge's picture

Double Plus Good!

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:26 | 4779418 Al Huxley
Al Huxley's picture

Keynesian wet dream - Krugman's probably already on the phone to the Central Planning Committee in Washington.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:53 | 4779510 BlindMonkey
BlindMonkey's picture

Do you think Krugman is going to proposes as transit to the space aliens in lieu of an invasion?

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 22:09 | 4779770 mcgoverntm
mcgoverntm's picture

Bravo, Al!  Perfectly put. 

However, the New York City Transit Authority was first with this idea.  I remember that some years ago (15 - 20) the TA ordered cars for the D line that were not the right elevation to match the height of the platforms in Brooklyn.  I've tried to find a reference to the story using a web search, and I regret that I haven't found it.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:27 | 4779421 darteaus
darteaus's picture

Don't worry France, our Socialist-In-Chief blames previous administrations too.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:28 | 4779425 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

I can't help but think there is some Einstein thought experiment in here somewhere.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:38 | 4779446 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Someone Sacre bleu it!

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:39 | 4779454 rtalcott
rtalcott's picture

More gubbermint than socialist...typical 'eff-up

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:46 | 4779471 QQQBall
QQQBall's picture

Oh, like you have never ordered the wrong size?  There must be standardized rail sizes. Take a haircut and sell them to other countires - why not? Or you could redesign and reconfigure everything to match the fuck-up.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:46 | 4779473 SilverIsMoney
SilverIsMoney's picture

When I meet Socialists in America every fiber of my being has to be restrained from just stabbing them to death on the spot with whatever I can find...

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 21:31 | 4779662 caustixoid
caustixoid's picture

must be hard for you.  they're everywhere.  the most dangerous are the corporate socialists

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:50 | 4779493 machineh
machineh's picture

Every railroad has a published cross-sectional drawing, showing the maximum allowable profile of rolling stock at any level, from the wheels up to the roof.

This is not only to clear platforms, but to make sure that rolling stock doesn't scrape the sides of tunnels, or foul the support structures for the catenary.

Never heard of a railroad that didn't have a unified, up-to-date, system-wide standard. This is basic stuff.

If RFF is this clueless about their rolling stock envelope, how are they doing with their signaling and other safety systems? Better take the bus, or a canal boat instead.


Tue, 05/20/2014 - 21:07 | 4779559 dexter_morgan
dexter_morgan's picture

Isn't France a big nuke producer too? Scary shit.......

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 21:17 | 4779588 Everybodys All ...
Everybodys All American's picture

How do you produce 2000 of these engines before you find out? How do you not produce and test a prototype first just to make sure it meets specifications? How do you not get to keep your doctor?

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 22:21 | 4779798 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Burahcraseee ezz perfect! All zee appropriate forms were filed, in perfect orderhair, in treeeplicut! Zair ezz nosing wrong here!

(Fumbling with the microphone as an aide whispers something in his ear)

Eeez American manyoufacterher, eezz Koch brudders trains, zeh did zis! ;-)

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 22:23 | 4779806 andrewp111
andrewp111's picture

It is obvious. Someone did not want to find out until after the job was done.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:54 | 4779513 XitSam
XitSam's picture

"we accept responsibility" 

Q: Then why do you still have a job?

a) France

b) Socialism

c) Broken Windows

d) All of the above

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 04:39 | 4780259 dreadnaught
dreadnaught's picture

in the US NOBODY takes responsibility for things like this....they get a bonus for not having fucked it up worse

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:54 | 4779514 nink
nink's picture

Did we mention the new trains were battery operated and we need to charge them every 100 miles.   Time to install charging stations.  OH and Wind Turbines to charge the batteries at the charging station...

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 20:57 | 4779520 Duc888
Duc888's picture



Hey, it could be worse, they could have a prop fall off their warship.


Oh, wait......



And.... the old shop motto..."if it's not done twice, it's not done right".

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 04:38 | 4780257 dreadnaught
dreadnaught's picture

"measure twice, cut ONCE"

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 21:20 | 4779534 Everybodys All ...
Everybodys All American's picture

A: Give him a saw.

B. Wave to him.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 21:06 | 4779552 dexter_morgan
dexter_morgan's picture

Now that would never happen in the private sector. (don't bring up Gubmit Motors, they are not private sector anymore and I guess it shows in 3 or 4 million units recalled.......)

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 21:12 | 4779574 rsnoble
rsnoble's picture

You order shit you eat shit.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 21:17 | 4779596 Freedumb
Freedumb's picture

How do I get my entire 401(k) into SNCF stock? BULLISH!

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 21:53 | 4779725 The Most Intere...
The Most Interesting Frog in the World's picture

That would be an expanded MyRA

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 21:22 | 4779622 SmittyinLA
SmittyinLA's picture

If you believe the people that ordered the trains didn't plan on "remodeling" every station in France when they ordered the trains.....I have an annuity to sell you.

"AAA rated and insured"

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 21:30 | 4779651 logicalman
logicalman's picture

Find out who signed off on this and see how many friends he has in the railway construction business.

Could be interesting.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 21:32 | 4779665 Rakshas
Rakshas's picture

ah Merde........

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 21:41 | 4779690 Mitch Comestein
Mitch Comestein's picture




Too late, the mob has spoke!!!

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 21:47 | 4779702 The Most Intere...
The Most Interesting Frog in the World's picture

This makes Obamacare look like a smashing success!

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 21:47 | 4779706 The Most Intere...
The Most Interesting Frog in the World's picture

No pun intended...

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 21:48 | 4779708 NYPoke
NYPoke's picture Krugman nods his approval.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 21:50 | 4779716 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

Invent a crisis, say global warming, and then invent a tax that goes along with it.


Use the tax to paper over fuckups like this (and pay your friends in the process).




Wait, has this been done already?

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 22:34 | 4779830 Nimby
Nimby's picture

Qui est Jean Galt?

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 22:40 | 4779842 I Write Code
I Write Code's picture

Les projets prêts à démarrer?

Obama and Jerry Brown are both brown with envy:
Obama et Jerry Brown sont de couleur brune avec envie.

I think that could be the big project for Hillary's first term: widen every freeway lane in the country by three inches, like we just did in Los Angeles for "Carmageddon".  Or in Chris Christie's first term, LOL:

Dans le premier mandat de Chris Christie, nous avons fait les routes assez large, même pour une Kardashian.

[Traductions belles aux Français par Google.]

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 22:38 | 4779844 rodgerleanne
rodgerleanne's picture

I worked for the DOE in Germantown, MD and went to the office of a guy who was suppose to help me put together  a strategy to improve Federal Gov't/State communications about cleanup of WW II nuclear waste.  When I walked into his office, the blinds were drawn and the office quite dark.  He was working on his stock portfolio.  ALL of us in that Division that year received performance award bonuses. 

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 23:11 | 4779916 Zero_Hope
Zero_Hope's picture

Dust off all those old Italian and Polish jokes. Insert French.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 23:29 | 4779947 Bazza McKenzie
Bazza McKenzie's picture

 "We discovered the problem a bit late, we recognise that and we accept responsibility on that score," Christophe Piednoel.

I don't suppose "accepting responsibility" actually entailed resigning in disgrace, let alone going out and hanging themselves.

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 14:00 | 4782022 Baby Eating Dingo22
Baby Eating Dingo22's picture


Talk is cheap

Never see any of these born again pols actually suffer any consequences of their transgressions. Worst case, they do the speech or talk show circuit. Look at Ben go.

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 00:03 | 4780045 mumcard
Wed, 05/21/2014 - 00:18 | 4780075 ObamaDepression
ObamaDepression's picture

Knowing the French, this wasn't a mistake, but a collusion by unions.

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 00:47 | 4780119 Northern Lights
Northern Lights's picture

This EXACT same thing happened here in Toronto, Ontario Canada.

The Toronto Transit Commission renovated all of the streetcar track bed across the city starting in 2004.

About 4 years ago Toronto Council ordered up brand new streetcars to replace the piece of shit streetcars that have been crawling across the city the past 40 years.

The TTC took delivery of one of the new streetcars two summers ago and took it for a test run on one of the major North-South lines on Spadina Street.  During the run they found that at certain intersections where the streetcar was to come up to a turn, the passenger loading islands were too close to the track and the streetcar was rubbing up against the island causing damage which could lead to derailment.  Seems the idiot engineers didn't take proper measurements for how wide the streetcars should be built.

So, last summer the City of Toronto works had to go to all these problem area, bust up all that freshly poured concrete and trackbeds, and reset everything to the correct measurement specifications.

I can't remember what the cost was to fix each intersection, but it was very high as intersections are typically a spaghetti mish-mash of tracks for all four turns.


Wed, 05/21/2014 - 01:35 | 4780156 flyingcaveman
flyingcaveman's picture

Totally understandable.  Its not like those Europeans set the standard for setting standards for everything or anything.  Or they are finally ditching the ISO9000 and its more of a ISOWhetever the fuck standard now.

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 01:50 | 4780158 matrix2012
matrix2012's picture

Oh my god! Even sillier than the Third Worlder's mistake. So elementary.

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 03:29 | 4780223 Grosvenor Pkwy
Grosvenor Pkwy's picture

Sounds like the correct decision to me. Wider trains are better trains generally speaking. If the only mods needed are a few station platforms, it is well worth the cost to modernize the obsolete stations. In the long run this can pay off.

It's not "broken window fallacy" to upgrade to more modern standards. The alternative would be to continue building to match the most obsolete stations in the network, which is foolish economy. The wider trains force the issue.

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 08:41 | 4780622 Grosvenor Pkwy
Grosvenor Pkwy's picture

OK, so here is a comment that I found in French and ran through Google Translate:

"Following the example of many other newspapers , the world gets information from the Chained Duck telling a " crazy story trains ' new TER trains (two thousand were ordered for parts [regions]) will be larger than the previous [by] 20 centimeters, which will force Réseau Ferré de France planing hundreds of station platforms too narrow.

The press is decidedly desperate to sell his paper : as understood much of commentators Le Monde , the choice of the train was taken knowingly , to give more space for travelers [passengers?]. I can attest to having worked for Bombardier , one of the two manufacturers of train concerned , before he received the order, that is to say there are more than 5 years , having had information that it should touch [contact with] the oldest stations.

The figures cited by the World itself to show that the choice is not economically absurd : the work to be done to account for 80 million euros , which certainly seems important but is dwarfed by the 15 billion represented the purchase of 2,000 reams of contract. The real scandal if there is one , is that development work had dragged beyond reasonable, but even this remains questionable.

... But the posture of the newspaper has always been clear , and it is not surprising that he wants to ride this story out of proportion by a humorous presentation."

If I am reading this right, they knew some stations would have to be adjusted but the extra cost is only 1/2 of 1% of the total cost of the equipment. The trains were intentionally made 20 cm wider to make more space for passengers. The original story was meant to be humorous.

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 03:34 | 4780228 TerraHertz
TerraHertz's picture

I don't see the problem. The oversize can't be much; a few mm at most. So just run the damned trains, they'll wear in to a perfect fit soon enough. The wear-in period can be minimized by having the trains approach the station at higher speeds.

It will also save money on the train brake pads. Plus any irregularities in the platform edges will be smoothed out.

Possibly there might be some unintended side effects with particularly bad train to station mismatches. But isn't that what Survival of the Fittest is about?

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 03:58 | 4780239 gann1212
gann1212's picture

being its france that deal was signed after all present each consumed 12 bottles of wine. which also adds to the gdp. what we have here is a win win win situation. and who can argue with that.

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 04:58 | 4780272 acommenter
acommenter's picture

Mistake, LOL.

I wonder which company will undertake the costly and urgent constructions. This means that the project would be directly awarded without the proper auction for the best offer. This is how corruption works.


Wed, 05/21/2014 - 05:02 | 4780274 Roger Knights
Roger Knights's picture

In the middle of WW2 the first of a new generation of aircraft carriers arrived at the Panama Canal. Its hull had no problem getting thru--they'd measured that--but they hadn't taken into account that the overhang of its deck was now too wide to fit between the lampposts on either side. Solution? Turn up the power and knock them down, which was done. There was a war on.

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 05:28 | 4780297 CHX
CHX's picture

Another funny (+sad) ZH nugget. Thanks Tylers.

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 05:41 | 4780309 Jano
Jano's picture

A paralell to Obamacare?

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 06:42 | 4780371 adonisdemilo
adonisdemilo's picture

Socialism at its best.


Wed, 05/21/2014 - 06:57 | 4780405 basho
basho's picture

so what has socialism got to do with it?

dummies are dummies no matter of what political flavor.

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 08:10 | 4780584 Chuck Knoblauch
Chuck Knoblauch's picture

Mistakes like this don't happen.

Sounds like someone is laundering dirty money.

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 08:17 | 4780596 Baby Eating Dingo22
Baby Eating Dingo22's picture

So every time the train pulls in, the windows break, and growth carries on


Wed, 05/21/2014 - 09:59 | 4780989 NoTTD
NoTTD's picture

These people are the same everywhere:


(1) We accept responsibility - but not the blame; because


(2) It was the prior administration (i.e., BUSH!!!)

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 17:30 | 4782730 rex-lacrymarum
rex-lacrymarum's picture


Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier blamed an "absurd rail system" for the problem, referring to changes made by a previous government in 1997. "When you separate the rail operator (RFF) from the user, SNCF, it doesn't work," he told BFMTV.


This is actually nonsense, or let us say, it can only be true for state-owned companies. The private sector has no such coordination problems. 

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