The long wait for a Government decision on rebuilding Birmingham's New Street Station could be over in "a matter of days", the Minister for the West Midlands has revealed.
In a major speech last night on the future of Birmingham, Liam Byrne said he believed the uncertainty would soon be ended.
But Mr Byrne, the MP for Birmingham Hodge Hill, said the region also faced many other challenges to improve its transport system including the need to upgrade Birmingham International Airport.
He was delivering the annual lecture in memory of Roger Dickens, the entrepreneur who died in 2006, at the ICC in central Birmingham.
Ruth Kelly, the Transport Secretary, announced last year that the Government had agreed to pay £128 million towards rebuilding New Street station. However Birmingham City Council and Advantage West Midlands have submitted bids for a further £260 million, to allow the work to go ahead.
Relations between the council and the Government have appeared strained, as they blamed each other for the failure to reach agreement over the funding.
However, Mr Byrne's comments suggest that the log-jam has been cleared and the ambitious New Street Gateway scheme, designed to turn New Street into a station fit to welcome visitors to England's second city, will go ahead.
Mr Byrne said: "In transport, I think it fair to say we have always been a demanding city. But we are right to be demanding.
"A new New Street is overdue; but a new New Street will come.
"I hope that we may be only a matter of days away from confirming the shape of things to come.
"But New Street is not enough; which is why I will convene talks on the new shape of the airport."
Birmingham International Airport is planning to extend its runway to allow it to cater for long haul flights, linking Birmingham directly with China, India and the US.
"When I visited exporters in Birmingham. They were crystal clear Birmingham Airport is our bridge-head to the growth markets of the future," said Mr Byrne.
"The carriers that operate there are our links to the world markets. So I'll be exploring this further over the coming months, looking at building a closer relationship between the airport, carriers and the businesses that both keep it operating and rely on it to keep their own business moving forward.
"Not only is Birmingham gateway to the region it is also at the heart of our national road and rail networks and we now need to grasp the opportunities this presents us."
Mr Byrne's speech contrasted Birmingham's success as "the best governed city in the world" in the late 19th and early 20th century, under leaders such as Joseph Chamberlain, with its situation today.
He said: "If we aspired once more to be the best governed city in the world, what would it look like? How would it be different to the residents and the tax-payers of this city? How would this city be known abroad?
"It won't surprise you to learn that I think that Birmingham can once again aspire to this historic badge of honour."
However, the MP also warned that Birmingham needed strong leadership if it was to succeed in the modern world. It demands a new coalition of leaders from the civic, commerce and culture to strengthen in new ways the way we live and work and play together."
Mr Byrne was appointed Minister for the West Midlands by Gordon Brown last year. He is also the Minister for Immigration, working in both the Treasury and the Home Office.