Research and analysis

Rail infrastructure optimism bias study

Investigates the phenomenon of optimism bias in UK rail infrastructure projects.

Documents

Rail infrastructure optimism bias study: cover note

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Optimism bias study: recommended adjustments to optimism bias uplifts

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Details

Optimism bias is the tendency of individuals to expect better than average outcomes from their actions. In the context of rail infrastructure projects, optimism bias can lead to:

  • underestimation of project duration
  • overestimation of benefits
  • underestimation of total cost

This study looks at evidence from rail infrastructure projects and recommends how the optimism bias uplift values should be changed.

Published 24 January 2017