Great Western Mainline Electrification

The following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed or troubled projects from around the world. Organization: Network Rail – UK Project type : Rail infrastructure upgrade Project name : Great Western Mainline electrification project Date : Jan 2020 Cost : £2B cost overrun, plus reduced scope Synopsis : The electrification of the world's transportation infrastructure is a growing focus in many countries. Electrification allows the energy intensive i...
More

Police Scotland

The following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed or troubled projects from around the world. Organization: Scottish Police Authority – UK Project type : Policing information management system Project name : i6 Date : Mar 2017 Cost : £200m lost opportunity Synopsis : While I often write about the direct impacts failed projects have on an organization it is also worth remember that each failed project is an investment that failed to yield its inte...
More

London City – Garden Bridge

The following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed or troubled projects from around the world. Garden Bridge Trust – UK Project type : Bridge design & construction Date : Apr 2017 Cost : £53M (including £43M of public funds) Synopsis : New York has its 'High Line', Seoul has its 'Sky Garden', Paris has its 'Promenade Plantée' and London nearly had it's 'Garden Bridge'. Elevated, elongated city parks are a draw for both tourists and locals alike...
More

UK Government – The Poll Tax

Following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” - a list of failed or troubled projects from around the word. British Government - Prime Minister's Office Project : The Community Charge (the Poll Tax) Project type: Changes to the taxation system Date : Mar 1990 Cost : Unknown Synopsis : With politics likely to be a big part of the 2020 story, I thought I'd touch on how projects are sometimes the demise of politicians (even the highest and mightiest). As a case in poi...
More

First time home buyers loan program

The following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed or troubled projects from around the world. BC Provincial Government – Canada Project name : British Columbia Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership program Project type : Government backed loan program to help first time buyers enter the real estate market Date : Cancelled Dec 2018 Cost : Unknown Synopsis : Between 2002 and 2017 residential property prices in the city of Vancouver, Canada w...
More

Jacques Cartier Champlain Bridge Corporation

Following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed and troubled projects from around the world. Jacques Cartier Champlain Bridge Corporation – Canada Project type : Highway overpass construction Date : Oct 2016 Cost : $11M CAD Synopsis : Taxpayers often feel that their hard earned dollars aren't being respected by the government officials charged with spending those dollars. In a story that feeds into that narrative, the city of Montreal has recently co...
More

Phoenix Failing

The following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed or troubled projects from around the world. Department of Public Works and Government Services - Canada Project type : New payroll system Project name : Phoenix Date : Jul 2016 Cost : $2B + Synopsis : A Phoenix is supposed to rise from the flames. Instead of rising, Canada's new federal government payroll system (called Phoenix) seems to be stuck firmly in the flames. According to reports from the...
More

St Helena Airport

The following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed or troubled projects from around the world. Organization: Department for International Development (DfID) - UK Project type : New airport Date : Jun 2016 Cost : £285 million Synopsis : Wind shear is one of the most deadly atmospheric conditions an aircraft can hit. A significant and rapid change in wind speed, or direction, over a very short distance, wind shear is especially dangerous when it happ...
More

Flint Michigan – Water

The following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed or troubled projects from around the world. Organization: Flint Michigan Municipality Project type : Municipal water supply Date : Apr 2014 to May 2016 (ongoing at time of writing) Cost : Unknown for now, but potentially in the billions. Synopsis : In the most powerful nation on earth you would assume that if you're in a major city, it would be safe to drink the tap water. If you're in Flint Michig...
More

Tram trouble

The following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed or troubled projects from around the world. Organization: City of Edinburgh Council Project type : Public transit - Tram Network Date : September 2003 - May 2014 Cost : £1 Billion (including anticipated loan interest) versus an original estimate of £375M (based on a much larger scope than was actually built) Synopsis : What started out as a noble idea in 2003 was later described as the “hell on whe...
More