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I note finances are messy, too -- it's a PPP project. The price tag is €7 billion.

One major dent in the finances wasn't directly due to the PPP structure, but to construction fraud. The Dutch government had tendered the line in four tranches and national construction companies colluded to extract maximum profits for each of these.

This is in part a legacy of the Dutch past of glossing over cartels.

I don't know if any and how much of the money was / is being clawed back.

Another part of the cost overrun are the delays due to ERTMS, and another part is the planning procedure in the Netherlands which has meaningful public participation and incorporation of environmental concerns. That last part is of course desirable, in part, but accounts for a significant share of the cost of the HSL Zuid and for a yet larger share of the Betuweroute, which was actually constructed with very little construction cost overruns -- pretty much all of the increases of the budget were design changes.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Dec 18th, 2009 at 07:41:41 AM EST

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