I know it's an old saying but you would have thought that some thing as important as this width of a train would have merited a bit more research by the rail network operators.
Not just us then. A few years back after a new Ambulance Station was built they discovered that the Ambulances were too big to fit in. Red faces all round.
carver, thanks for the 'heads up' ... got 2 short sections of lawn-wooden-border-edging to create [2 x 2 broomhandles-in-length] ... I do hope I do not make any faux-pas and go over-budget ... or was that the forkhandles?
I once attended a fascinating seminar which dealt with the way that our minds work when we make errors of judgement. One speaker talked at length about the 'How did I miss something as obvious as that?' syndrome.
It happens time and time again, and a common context is when a team has to deal with a project - each person can make assumptions that someone else in the team has thought about a particular aspect of the project, when in fact nobody has.
That's why it's so important to do a project analysis in great detail before anyone signs off on anything. Each aspect of the work is analysed in detail, and step 2 cannot be initiated until step 1 has been checked. Software can help enormously in this respect.
They once built me a nice new state of the art explosives preparation shed, to specifications set in Whitehall by people who would not know plastic explosive from marzipan (they are actually quite similar, but the PE has a stringer smell of almonds!).
When the handover claim they made sure I countersigned the figures for the electrical insulation of the floor.
As we were preparing electrically fired explosives, far from an insulated floor my blokes had to wear conducting shoes, and I pointed this out.
Rather than admit a mistake and just rip it up, they decided we should have to stand on conducting mats, great heavy expanded metal things bonded to the lightning conductor.
Every year and it's probably still going on, a team of guys turns up with sensitive test equipment and tests the insulation of the floor, and a few days later they come back with a different set of instruments to check how efficiently we are by-passing that insulation!
Slightly off subject ... but, I vividly remember my first big job interview [as an 19-year-old] with BT [known as 'The GPO back then in 1974]] was quite involved, but one of the first 'pillars' I had to overcome, was a Colour Blind test lookin' at various dotted patterns in a book that wouldn't look out of place in a childrens' nursery.
Thankfully, I passed that test - with flying colours - and got the job [a week later] as an apprentice telecommunication engineer!
[PS. ... it was vital to be able to read the correct colour codes on the insulation on each individual wire ... even under the dingy lighting at the bottom of man-hole-chambers etc.]
BTW, I reckon that there must've been a major 'communicaion breakdown', over in France, to have made such a silly and expensive mistake as has been intimated by FE.
"When you separate the rail operator from the train company," he said, "this is what happens."
There is a gauge for the railway in this country that all trains have to fit through before being allowed on Network rail track.
France will have exactly the same.
"The error seems to have happened because the national rail operator RFF gave the wrong dimensions to train company SNCF."
The rail operator obviously doesn't understand its own gauge.
or is it the old conversion to metric problem, perhaps the French should adopt feet and inches instead of trying to make us convert to metres :0)
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