The Transport Secretary has told Black Country and Staffordshire residents not to expect extra investment for themselves on the back of high-speed rail.
Philip Hammond said the line, carrying 225mph trains between London and the Midlands, would make Birmingham the transport hub of the UK. The Black Country would benefit from extra capacity on the West Coast main line.
But regeneration chiefs in the region have called for other improvements, like extensions of the Midland Metro and the rebuilding of Wolverhampton rail station, on the back of the £32 billion project.
Two new stations will be built in Birmingham, but Black Country and Staffordshire people will have to change trains if they want to get on to the high-speed services, which will begin to be built in 2017.
Speaking to the Express & Star after addressing a meeting of Birmingham businesses yesterday, Tory Mr Hammond said: "I don't operate in a world where people only support a piece of national infrastructure if there's something in it for them."