France Spent $20 Billion on Trains That Don't Fit in the Station

French officials admitted this week that they may not have taken the most thorough measurements before writing a $20 billion check.

France's national train operator, SNCF, admitted this week that it ordered the fleet of new trains without double-checking the measurements. Now, officials say, the new trains are just too big to fit through many of France's regional train stations.

The measurements—provided by RFF, a separate entity that operates the country's rail system—only applied to modern stations built in the last thirty years.

Now, railway employees are currently working on a $50 million construction project to widen the tracks in more than 1,000 of the older, smaller stations.

"We discovered the problem a bit late," RFF spokesman Christophe Piednoël said in the most French explanation possible. "It's as if you bought a Ferrari and when you come to park it in your garage you realize your garage isn't exactly the right size for a Ferrari because you didn't have a Ferrari before."

[image via Shutterstock]