The UK and Scottish governments have agreed to jointly improve rail links between London and Scotland.
Work under the proposed project includes delivery of a high speed rail that will reduce train journeys between London and the Central Belt to three hours or less.
Scheduled to begin next year, the work will identify options with the best business case for implementation from 2019 onwards.
High Speed 2 (HS2), a planned high-speed railway in the UK, will be extended to reach Scotland.
A feasibility study report from HS2 revealed that potential upgrades to the existing West Coast Main Line and East Coast Main Line, and introduction of new high speed routes could deliver the three-hour journey time.
The study was jointly commissioned by the two governments to explore broad options for improving rail capacity and journey times to the north of England and Scotland.
Scottish government infrastructure secretary Keith Brown said: "This report is a major milestone in the campaign to deliver high speed rail to Scotland and marks the beginning of the next chapter in the tale.
"High speed rail will bring billions of pounds worth of benefit to Scotland’s economy and an infrastructure project of this magnitude, possibly the biggest Scotland’s ever seen, means jobs, investment, benefits for the economy and benefits for the environment."
HS2, the developer and promoter of the UK’s new high-speed rail network, will operate high speed trains from London to Glasgow when Phase I starts in 2026.
Journey times will be further reduced to three hours 43 minutes on the route to Crewe in 2027.
When the full Y-network opens in 2033, journey times to both Glasgow and Edinburgh will be reduced to three hours and 38 minutes.
Image: High Speed 2 will be extended to reach Scotland. Photo: courtesy of gov.uk.