All three major parties back proposals for a new high speed rail line.
But support for the scheme is nonetheless far from universal. Many people along the route of the new network, and the MPs and councils representing them, have hit out at the cost of the project and raised questions about the benefits it will bring.
By contrast, business leaders, local authorities and most (but not all) MPs in the cities where high speed trains will actually stop tend to be highly supportive of the project.
In the West Midlands, it is estimated that high speed rail will create 22,000 jobs.
The National Audit Office report casting serious doubt on the economic benefits of high speed rail undoubtedly undermines many of the arguments in favour of the scheme.
The NAO is an independent body appointed by Parliament to scrutinise public spending.
It has concluded that claims that high speed rail will support regional economic growth and create 100,000 new jobs are not backed up by evidence. That’s not to say the claims are wrong necessarily, but the arguments put forward to justify them do not stack up.
In response, the Transport Secretary has warned that the NAO is using out-of-date information. It has to be said though that the strongest single argument for building a new rail network is simply that the existing lines are rapidly running out of capacity.
The West Coast Main Line has already been through extensive upgrades, but there is a limit to the number of trains it can carry. And the first services to suffer are local ones, which are cut to provide capacity for inter-city trains.
Suggestions that video conferencing can take the place of face to face meetings are wide of the mark. The internet is not a science fiction concept - it is with us today, as is broadband technology and the webcam. Despite this, people still travel by train.
Our existing rail network will not be able to cope in 20 years time. The time to start dealing with that is now.
And if new lines are to be built, it makes sense for them to be high speed.
Ministers have plenty of rival demands for funding to consider - many of them coming from London and the south east, where a number of rail schemes are either underway or in the pipeline.
High speed rail is a chance for the Midlands and the North to enjoy a fair share of funding investment.