Transport improvements will only come to the West Midlands if civic leaders make quick decisions and remain united, the Minister for the region has warned.
Liam Byrne made his comments as he chaired the first West Midlands transport summit, at Worcester Ruby Club, where councillors and senior figures from local agencies set out the region's transport priorities.
The Minister for the West Midlands, who is MP for Hodge Hill in Birmingham and an Immigration Minister, said the region had to learn from the best when it came to lobbying Whitehall.
Speakers at the event included officials from The Northern Way, a lobby group representing cities and towns in the North East, North West and Yorkshire and Humberside.
Mr Byrne said he had been told by officials in Whitehall that the Northern Way was more successful than anyone else in pressing their case for funding – including local councils in the West Midlands.
The Minister highlighted the region's success in securing funding of £400 million for New Street station from the Government.
He said: "Arguing for New Street station was ten times easier because the region agreed it was the number one priority. Now we need to agree what's next.
"Last year, I challenged the region's leaders to tell me what we needed. Today we have a short list for the first time ever."
Civic leaders have drawn up a shortlist of nine transport schemes which could be given top priority, including making sure the new Street work goes ahead on schedule and extending the runway at Birmingham International Airport.
Other potential high-priority schemes include extending the Metro between Walsall and Brierley Hill, which would also improve links between Birmingham and the Black Country.
The short list also includes improving capacity on the M6 and M5, improving capacity for freight on the West Coast Main Line to the key ports of Southampton and Felixstowe and improving capacity on local rail services in the West Midlands.
Other options are to improve public transport in North Staffordshire, where the economy has suffered due to the decline of traditional industries such as ceramics, and to ensure that transport services are improved in areas with high population growth, such as Nuneaton and Leamington Spa, Warwickshire.
The final option is to create a greener transport system by encouraging commuters to use public transport, cycle and walk.
Olwen Dutton, Chief Executive of the West Midlands Regional Assembly, said: "We have taken a hard look at what we need to do to make sure that the West Midlands benefits from the right investment, in the right place at the right time."
Nick Paul, Chairman of Advantage West Midlands said: "We know central Government funding for transport is limited.
"What we need to do, as a region, is to reach a stage where we go out there and put together a funding package that we know the Department for Transport will buy into but also bearing in mind that where we have the collective means to achieve progress without their support, we need to drive ahead and do it."