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fast train to Megalopolis

The Scottish Government is to charge ahead with a high-speed rail link between Edinburgh and Glasgow.

By the year 2024 passengers will be whizzed city to city in half an hour. It will make life easier for commuters. And there will be great social and cultural benefits.

Glaswegians will have no excuse to avoid the Edinburgh Festival. On the other hand, Edinburgh is so crowded at festival time there is a case for overspill events in the west, what with Glasgow being only 30 minutes away. Guardian readers in Islington will be able to say: "I'm just back from the Edinburgh festival. I had a right good night out in Sauchiehall Street."

On the football front, it will be more accessible for a Billy or a Tim to be a Jambo or a Hibbee.

It will be handy for Glasgow folk to pop over and show Edinburghers how to run a tram system. Edinburgh hosts will say: "With the train being so quick you'll be able to back home in time for your tea."

Valuable missionary work can be done in both cities. Experts from the east will hold workshops for Glasgow residents on how to use soap. In Edinburgh there will be counselling on the advisability of wearing underwear beneath a fur coat.

As the two cities become more united there may be redundancies among newspaper columnists and comedians who make jokes about Edinburghers and Weegies.

Romance might flourish between the young people of both cities. Having a relationship with someone on the other side of the country won't just mean you've got a penpal. (Do penpals still exist? Or has the phenomenon been killed off by Facebook and Twitter along with conversation and other old-fashioned methods of communication?) There will be a significant increase in the number of mixed marriages between east and west.

The biggest benefits of the fast train link will be economic. The two cities could develop into one megalopolis. To save arguments over the name we could just call it Megalopolis. Drunks in Leith will be able to say: "The Megalopolis polis dismitteth us."

There are issues with an Edinburgh-Glasgow megalopolis. For a change, the east end would be the wealthier. Falkirk would be the city centre. And there's the West Lothian question. What on earth do we do with West Lothian?

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