Angels Nightmare revisted

We first noted the parallel between Edinburgh’s tram debacle and the business of making movies back in October 2010 noting that  “the rate of increase in the predicted final cost has been almost linear“.  Eleven months on and (see figure 1) the final cost estimate (albeit for a truncated line stopping at Haymarket) continues its inexorable rise.  (The phrase “Angel’s Nightmare” was coined by Arthur De Vany and can be summed up thus: “A movie that is over its budget has an expected cost that is proportional to what has already been spent” (De Vany and Walls, 2003))


At £375m  for the 18.5 km from the airport to Newhaven, the original cost per Km stood at £20m.  When the route was scaled back to St. Andrews Square (13.4km)  in June, the £750 estimated cost meant the price per km had risen to £56m and now, with the price tag at £830m for a further reduced 9.6km its a cool £86m.  So each time there is a recalculation the cost rises exponentially (See figure 2.)


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