It is universally accepted that our transport network will not be able to cope with rising passenger numbers.
The West Coast Main Line is creaking at the seams - and the ongoing upgrades to the route, important and welcome as they are, will not solve the problem.
We often hear about the need to get commuters out of their cars and onto public transport, but our rail network actually has no problem attracting passengers. The number of people wanting to travel by train increases every year, but there is a limit to how many the network can serve.
Expensive line upgrades will postpone the day of reckoning, but that is all.
Now, Virgin Trains has warned that overcrowding levels will reach "unacceptable levels" as soon as 2011.
West Coast Main Line passengers may feel services are overcrowded already, but we can safely take Virgin's comments to mean things will be even worse than they are now. Other bodies have also warned that the West Coast Main Line is reaching crunch point, although they have given the service a few more years.
What is to be done? Both Virgin and Eurostar believe high speed rail lines are the answer. In fact, Eurostar has called for a network of such lines across the country - starting with a route from London to Birmingham and Manchester.
However, the Government is right to look at transport provision in the round, which means considering whether new or expanded road links could help relieve some of the strain.
Where it might be wrong is in failing to give this issue the urgent attention it needs.
Ministers will argue they are busy sorting our the West Coast Main Line and, yes, New Street Station - and the rest can wait a few years.
But a decision on meeting growing demand for rail travel is needed now.