When high-speed trains began running between Tokyo and Osaka 52 years ago, they revolutionised travel between the two Japanese cities.
Since then, high-speed rail links in Europe and East Asia have changed travel patterns and drawn cities closer together.
There are similar expectations for the planned high-speed rail link between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.
Last week, both governments signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on key points of the project, paving the way for further progress in key areas.
Joint tenders will have to be called, numbers crunched and decisions made - from working out details of the alignment of the tracks to financing the project - before the trains start running around 2026.
The benefits will be significant. As Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said after the MOU signing in Putrajaya: "It will draw our peoples and our economies together, and we can think of Singapore and KL in the same way as people think of London-Paris, Taipei-Kaohsiung or Tokyo-Osaka."
"Just as you can come down from KL, have lunch in Singapore and go back to KL, so too people can zip up from Singapore to KL comfortably, watch a show, do some business, come back, do some work on the laptop on the train, and be home in time for dinner with the family."
But much work remains to be done, and potential issues could surface along the way.