Midland railway stations have topped a list of shame for the worst facilities on the West Coast Main Line.
Their poor condition was highlighted by campaigners who demanded stations were brought up to the same high standards as airport terminals.
Campaigning group West Coast Rail 250, which includes local councils and passenger representatives, named the stations as they launched a strategy in the Commons yesterday for improving the WCML.
In a report distributed to MPs, they said: "Many stations on the West Coast route suffer serious and extensive long term problems. Of these, Birmingham New Street must head the list."
The report warns: "Without major investment, the current station will not be able to cope with increased passenger numbers and the overcrowding may lead to access restrictions being needed to maintain passenger safety."
A £350 million rebuild project could be completed by 2011 if funding is available, the report says.
It also warns that stations at Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford and Coventry have " particularly acute" problems caused by lack of car parking space.
"The success of the West Coast upgrade depends very heavily on strong passenger growth, and with the preferred mode of travel to station in most cases being the private car, additional car parking is an urgent necessity." Access for disabled passengers was poor at Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent and platforms at number of smaller stations were simply too small, the report warns.
"Between Wolverhampton, Birmingham New Street and Coventry this could alleviate the demand for additional train paths on a very congested railway."
Bill Cameron, chairman of West Coast Rail 250, said: "There is an urgent need to improve the quality of many of the stations on the route."
The report also backs proposals for a new high speed line from London to Edinburgh via Birmingham.