Plans to install high-tech information screens at stations have been scuppered after the firm installing them pulled out at the 11th hour.
Public transport coordinator Centro admits it is "frustrated" at the problem which has caused massive delays to the improvements at 20 stations.
The £1 million initiative was due to have started at some of the region's main stations already - but now Centro and Central Trains have been left to hunt for a new contractor.
A Centro spokesman said: "We would have hoped to have it under way by now - and finished by the end of the year.
"The contractor which put in the winning bid to build the system has now withdrawn. It is frustrating, but it is not back to square one. We can go back to the other companies who tendered. We are disappointed at the situation and are working hard to ensure it is resolved as soon as possible."
A Centro report into the matter said: "It is unlikely that the works will be delivered in the current financial year."
This means that it will be at least eight months before the scheme is completed.
Central Trains confirmed it is currently trying to install a second contractor.
Alan Bevan, Birmingham spokesman for Rail Future, a group campaigning for improved services, said: "This is an unfortunate situation which we hope is resolved as soon as possible. Clearly this is a key part of improving the services for passengers."
The screens had been due to be installed at University, Selly Oak, Five Ways, Sutton Coldfield, Solihull, Walsall, Kings Norton, Bournville, Four Oaks, Northfield, Cradley Heath, Longbridge, Erdington, Rowley Regis, Sandwell & Dudley, Dorridge, Marston Green, Smethwick Galton Bridge, Aston, Shirley, Tame Bridge and Tile Hill stations.