Earlier this summer, U.K. Transport Secretary Mark Harper extolled the virtues of Japan’s bullet train network in a video that has aged even more poorly than most government fluff pieces.

"Japan’s rail infrastructure is an exciting vision of what we can do with HS2 — our very own high-speed rail network for the future,” Harper said from a bullet train seat, referring to the project that less than three months later would be radically scaled back. "Building it shows we believe in Britain.”

The U.K. seems to have suffered a crisis of belief, then, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last week scrapping the project’s northern leg in favor of a vague initiative for road improvements and nebulous mass transit systems. Though there is indeed much for the U.K. to learn from the safety and punctuality records of bullet trains, if it wants to learn from Japan’s experience in building railways, it’s the value of sticking to a plan.