How do we get from this...
The #350 million flagship redevelopment of New Street Station is on the brink of collapse because of confusion over Government funding.
A #7 million pot of ring-fenced cash set aside by the Strategic Rail Authority for the development of the scheme was apparently not transferred to the Department for Transport along with the SRA's powers when it was wound up earlier this month.
The DfT last night claimed it would honour all SRA commitments but a report by passenger transport executive Centro states DfT Rail, which assumed the SRA's role of governing the rail network, is privately maintaining it is unable to contribute funds.
Centro, part of the New Street Steering Group led by Birmingham City Council, adds: "It is recognised if they do not change their position the scheme will collapse as they are the only source of the bulk of the money."
More than #5 million has already been spent on design work. Further development of the station rebuild - primarily to improve the city's image and address a critical passenger capacity shortage - has been costed at #10 million between December 2005 and March 2008, with the City Council finding #1 million per year.
Now Centro is asking Passenger Transport Authority councillors to approve a #200,000 contribution - on condition other partners recommit to plugging the financial hole.
The Centro report states: "An additional #0.2 million would indicate the PTA's and Centro's commitment and be helpful in persuading DfT to fill this gap."
It adds: "The scheme is of considerable importance to the PTA and Centro as without capacity expansion there will be limited opportunities to develop schemes to expand rail patronage.
"The scheme has wider transport benefits, such as improving interchange with the Metro and bus networks."
Last July Prime Minister Tony Blair promised it was a case of "when and not if" the station would be rebuilt and the potential failure of the project would be a major blow.
Business leaders and politicians agree the 'Birmingham Gateway' scheme is of primary importance to the region's development.
The scheme, first revealed in The Birmingham Post three years ago, has progressed slowly because of the financial crisis faced by the rail industry following the Hatfield crash in 2000.
The station is operating with twice as many passengers as it was designed for and has often been forced to close at peak times because of overcrowding and safety fears.
The station represents an unwelcome reminder of the tired image Birmingham has striven to change.
Plans to revamp New Street - openly referred to as a "blot on Birmingham's landscape" by city officials - were first mooted in the early 1990s.
A spokeswoman for the City Council, which leads the New Street Steering Group, said: "We are confident the partners concerned in the plans for New Street Station will make sure the funding is in place."
A DfT spokesman said: "All SRA commitments transferred to the DfT will be honoured, that is not up for debate."