France (Metropolitan): Surface area 551,695 km2 or 213,010 square miles. To give you an indication France will fit 17 times into the United States of America and it’s 15 times the size of the Netherlands (My country of origin).
The number of inhabitants is about 64 million.
France’s railway network consists of about 32,000 km (20,000 mi) of route. About 14,000 trains are operated daily. 1.1 Billion Passengers are transported yearly. That comes down to 3,013,698 passengers a day.
Personally I don’t travel a lot. The running joke is that I’m not allowed to show my face outside of Paris. But last week I took my girls to visit a friend in the South-West of France for a week.
We took the train to Facture. There were 19 trains going from Paris to Facture that day.
We left on a Thursday morning and came back in the afternoon of the Wednesday after. We were travelling on random week days at random hours, making me 1 in 3,013,698 on Thursday July 10th at 10.46am.
Another 1 in 3,013,698 was the young man sitting across from me. The ticket system had randomly picked him to fill the empty spot across from me; an odd that had no bearing on my trip that day. It was all just random after all.
But what are the odds of meeting that exact same 1 in 3,013,698 stranger on a random Wednesday at a random hour 7 days later?