An influential engineering group has called for a new £30 billion high-speed rail link serving major UK cities and reducing overall north-south journey times to three hours.
The 200mph line could be built over ten years with the private sector contributing to its cost, the Institution of Civil Engineers report said.
The ICE has not specified an exact route, which would be a "matter for politicians" but confirmed it would like to see the line serve major British cities including Birmingham.
The Government has looked at a new high-speed rail link and the former chief executive of British Airways, Rod Eddington, is examining the scheme as part of his overall review of UK transport.
Building the link would help meet public expectations highlighted by a recent ICE poll which showed that 67 per cent of the public believe public transport will improve over the next ten years.
The ICE bases its cost estimate for the link on the £5.2 billion Kent coast to London Channel Tunnel Rail Link.
ICE spokesman Graeme Monteith said: "It is time for the train to take the strain. This would have a positive impact on the environment and play a role in reducing the UK's carbon emissions."