The Large Hadron Collider v the Edinburgh Tram project
There was an article on the Daily record online very recently by Scott Douglas, that touched on the role of the Large Hadron Collider in confirming the existence of the 'God Particle', the Higgs Boson, that gained Edinburgh's Professor Higgs a well merited Nobel Prize.
It's an interesting read, and after name checking Professor Higgs Mr Douglas went on to compare the cost of the Large Hadron Collider to the Edinburgh Tram project..
- LHC - 17 miles of tunnel reaching 570 feet underground, having been described as 'one of the great engineering milestones of mankind" cost £2.6 Billion pounds.
- Edinburgh Tram project - Only just over half as long, around 8.7 miles, reaching 0 feet underground , and acknowledged as ' one of the great engineering millstones of mankind' cost £1.1 Billion
(And counting; if recent cracks discovered in the concrete after a test run turn out as badly as the faults on the Stirling-Alloa-KIncardine rail line......(see below for the connection between that engineering rail millstone and this tram one)**
In Scott's article he calculates Edinburgh's cost per mile of tram track at £90M, against the cost of the LHC per mile at just over £150M-----but this leaves out the cost of the 'payday loan' taken out in 2011by CEC that added another £231M cash to the £545M cost at that time. And the interest on the money, as any payday customer knows, isn't something that can be forgotten about.
Adding in the interest this makes the cost per mile of the Tram £126,436,782. (Give or take the odd ten or twenty grand)
That is £71,839 a yard, £23,946 a foot and £1995 an inch!!!
The difference between a millstone and a milestone in the dictionary is just one letter.
In our real world however the difference is beyond comprehension, the more one thinks about the more incredible it gets.
How can one of the greatest scientific and engineering milestones of all time, at the very borders of scientific knowledge, come out at £152M a mile yet a bog standard rail line, sorry tram line, be £126M a mile(and counting)???
Can we have our public enquiry right now, Please?
** The connection is both the tram and the rail line presently falling to pieces after less than five years, were both managed by the ill fated, doomed and haplessly inadequateTIE Ltd, the 'arms length' company created by the City of Edinburgh Council: The Large Hadron Collider project was NOT managed by TIE.)