Is this a Bug or an Issue?

SNCF Wide TrainThe French railways seem have have found a serious bug in integration testing. As reported in BBC news, French red faces over trains that are ‘too wide’

The error seems to have happened because the national rail operator RFF gave the wrong dimensions to train company SNCF.

Our correspondent says that they measured platforms built less than 30 years ago, overlooking the fact that many of France’s regional platforms were built more than 50 years ago when trains were a little slimmer.

This is a prime example of a bug which would have been an awful lot cheaper to fix had it been caught at the design phase of the project.

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4 Responses to Is this a Bug or an Issue?

  1. The Other Tim Hall says:

    Not knowing your loading gauge? Unforgiveable.

  2. Tim Hall says:

    Bizarre, isn’t it?

    Many years ago, London Underground bought some trains that were fractionally too big for the tunnels.

  3. John P. says:

    So it’s caused because the rail & train operators are separate companies? Nah, it wouldn’t happen here. Would it?

    Oh well, at least they don’t have to worry about mixing imperial & metric units.
    Or maybe it is a cunning scheme by the French government to create work in the construction industry.

  4. Chris J says:

    As I understand it, SNCF made a conscious decision five years ago to specify new trains compliant with TSIs, rather than legacy French standards – with an eye to the future. Under the interoperability directive, it is the infrastructure manager’s responsibility to ensure its network is TSI compliant, and publish any non-conformances in its Network Statement. Of course, under the French model, RFF is dependent for its asset data on its maintenance contractor – SNCF.

    However, the need to make the offending platforms TSI compliant also improves accessibility under TSI PRM. That work began several months – if not years – before the story was ‘discovered’ by – or leaked to – the media. But it gave the transport minster an ideal opportunity for grandstanding a few weeks before the French parliament debates the reform package which effectively rejects European policy in favour of reintegrating SNCF under a single state-owned group.

    Whether that reform will help the regions who ordered the new trains in their quest to improve customer service remains to be seen.

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