Ooops! Fat trains and ghost stations

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

22 May 2014

They say a camel is a horse designed by a committee.

We were reminded of this aperçu by the disclosure that rail bureaucrats in a major European country have ordered over 1 800 brand-new trains – at a reported cost of around 15 billion euros (about 20 billion US dollars) – that are too wide to enter railway stations.

It is particularly embarrassing for the country in question – the French Republic – since the cock-up has been revealed just as the elections to the European Parliament are taking place in 28 member states of the European Union, including France, between today 22 May, and next Sunday 25 May.

It may be thought that electors will take a dim view of national authorities who have dished out shedloads of taxpayers’ money so dumbly on dud rolling stock.

Not only that but the balls-up will be grist to the mill of candidates for political parties that are fighting the elections on a platform of opposition to ever closer economic and political union between the countries of Europe.

What other European country is now going to be willing to contemplate a joint cross-border venture – of the kind so beloved of the European Union elite hunkered down in its Brussels bunker – with the French rail authorities?

But we can look on the bright side.

Pessimists believe that the light at the end of the tunnel is the light of the oncoming train.

Not in France any longer.

The trains won’t even get into the tunnel to start with.

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 You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)

2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)

3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)

4. Capitalism in practice  (4 July 2012) 

  1. Ladder  (21 June 2012)

 6. A tale of two cities (1)  (6 June 2012)

 7. A tale of two cities (2)  (7 June 2012)

 8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.

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