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Naval submarine ©noraismail/Shutterstock.com Naval submarine ©noraismail/Shutterstock.com Next arrow_forward

The Submarine That ‘Can’t Resurface’

Year: 2013
Location
: Spain
Company: Navantia
Estimated Damage Value: $2.2 billion*

You don’t have to be a certified genius to know that a submarine has to do one thing above all else: float. Despite paying over $2.2 billion to create a new, state-of-the-art Isaac Peral Submarine back in 2013, the Spanish government didn’t even end up using it because of this very expensive mistake. 

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It turned out the submarine was so incredibly heavy that it couldn’t float properly. Engineers got to work and figured out there was a miscalculation somewhere along the line. Thankfully, the design didn’t make it to the manufacturing stage, but it still cost the government a crazy amount of money. The hiccup garnered so much attention it was featured on numerous news outlets, including Fox.

The problems didn’t end there, either. When engineers rectified the issue they made the entire thing bigger. There was only one issue. No one thought to look at the port. Once the submarine was enlarged, it no longer fit inside, resulting in even more red faces on Monday morning.

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Paris: Two TGV in the Parisian East station @Taxiarchos228 / CC BY/Wikimedia Commons Paris: Two TGV in the Parisian East station @Taxiarchos228 / CC BY/Wikimedia Commons Next arrow_forward

Trains ‘Too Big’ For the Station

Year: 2014
Location
: France
Company: RFF gave the wrong dimensions to SNCF
Estimated Damage Value: $68 million*

Companies like American Airlines might be busy ruling the skies, but what about the rails? Railways and the Metro are heavily used in France, so when the train operator SNCF decided to invest in a new transportation project it seemed like a good idea at the time. 

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However, even the best laid plans can be shoddily executed. 2,000 new trains that cost in excess of $20.5 billion hit the railways back in 2014, but there was a hitch. They were far too wide, or as some outlets like the BBC dubbed them, too “fat,” to safely squeeze past each other on the rails. The mistake cost SNCF almost $70 million. 

Apparently the error happened when the RFF, the rail network operator, measured platforms that had been built 30 years ago. They thought it was a “one size fits all” situation, not taking into account the stations and platforms that were much older – and smaller – than that.  

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