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Viewpoint: Issue Issue 12 1 Jun 2010

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A tale of two Crossrail schemes: Edinburgh and London

Two capital cities and two cross-city rail projects. George Muir considers the challenges facing them

In Edinburgh, we now have a sparkling new tram sitting in the middle of Princes Street. It looks very pretty but it is not going anywhere as this shambolic project limps on through delays and cost overruns. At heart it is a good scheme, at least the airport to Leith section is, but the ingredients for the shambles were all there at the beginning. A wildly exaggerated “vision”, a parliament in denial, approving the scheme but washing its hands of cost overruns and, most dangerous of...

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