15 Most Expensive Mistakes Ever Made


1. French railway company ordered the wrong trains

French railway ordered wrong

15bn euros

When French train operator SNCF ordered 2,000 new trains, the company didn’t think they’d be making a costly error that would leave bosses feeling red faced – to the tune of over 50 million Euros!

The mistake was spotted when it was realised the purchased trains were too wide for most of France’s regional station platforms – but by then the chance had passed for the rail operator to get a refund. To add insult to injury, construction work to widen the station platforms had to be added to the cost of this already high-priced blooper, so the new trains could fit through.

So just how did this extravagant error occur? The problem was one of simple miscommunication – the national rail operator RFF had given the wrong proportions to the regional train company, and because the two weren’t working in tandem, no one realised the mistake until it was too late. Ministers blamed France’s “absurd rail system” but whatever the reason for the original blunder, with a blooper this pricey, we hope they have a process in place to make sure this doesn’t happen again.


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