The most dramatic outcome of the Inter-City Express programme would be the transformation in rail’s capability to compete with the car for journeys between Edinburgh, Glasgow and Scotland’s other five cities. Speed, comfort and reliability would attract motorist away from the dangers and stress of car travel.

And better rail infrastructure would make it much easier to attract freight from truck to train – reducing the heavy punishment which 44-tonne lorries impose on road surfaces the length and breadth of the country.

But Inter-City Express would also make our cities more competitive and Scotland more competitive – with a swift, safe and sustainable service, at the heart of a transport system fit for the 21st century.

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