The campaign to re-open the Sutton Park passenger rail link is well on track after activists took the case to a regional consultation event organised by the Government's Minister for the West Midlands, Liam Byrne MP.
Mr Byrne had organised the event at a Broad Street venue in Birmingham to consult community activists across Birmingham, Solihull and North Warwickshire about proposals to strengthen the sub-regional economy.
The move comes only days after the successful all-party agreement to invest over £550 million on a historic re-vamp of New Street station.
Labour's Sutton constituency campaign manager Dr Rob Pocock, who was joined by his agent Roy Boffy and other Sutton residents, pressed the case for a full-scale review of the economic benefit of the revived rail link across the north of the Birmingham conurbation.
Speaking after the conference, Dr Pocock said: "We got a very warm reception from many other people attending this event. It will boost many areas in the east-west arc sweeping north of Birmingham - it's not just about Sutton.
"It would create a whole new sub-regional connection from the new Coleshill station, linking to Leicester, Nottingham and across east to Peterborough, and then up from Hams Hall to Walmley, Sutton and linking to Walsall, Wolverhampton and northbound into the Staffordshire towns.
"The idea has the welcome backing of other political groups but the secret to success has got to be to connect the case for the rail link to the underlying economic argument. That's what has been missing from the debate up to now. But the work Liam is now undertaking, which is part of the Sub National Review, will we hope at last provide the economic justification for the investment and get the long-debated scheme back on the rails!"
Michael Cashman MEP said: "Rob and his Sutton Coldfield team made a passionate case for the re-opening of the Sutton line at the meeting and I very much welcome their enthusiasm for this cause. It would certainly benefit the sub-regional economy along the lines Labour is hoping to achieve. I am confident Liam Byrne will give the closeset attention to this issue when he reviews all the ideas that have flowed from this highly successful consultation."
Mr Byrne is presenting a summary of the responses received from the consultation at Labour's Spring Conference being held this weekend for the first time in Birmingham.
Shoppers and office workers could be heading to Fort Dunlop and its neighbouring shops complex by train, if a feasibility study ends in success.
The former Birmingham tyre warehouse, transformed into offices, could get its own railway station as part of the new inquiry.
A study is looking at re-opening stations along the Birmingham to Tamworth line which were closed in the Beeching cuts in the 1960s.
It is hoped the rapid growth of housing and employment along the corridor will convince Network Rail of an economic case for new stations at Fort Dunlop, Castle Bromwich, Castle Vale and Kingsbury.
Birmingham City Council has agreed to contribute £20,000 to the study, led by Centro, which will also look at re-introducing passenger services on the Sutton Park line from Birmingham to Aldridge and Walsall and the Camp Hill line between Kings Heath and Moor Street.
Record-breaking commercial interest in Fort Dunlop - derelict for 25 years - has seen nearly all of the 321,000 sq ft of office space let.
The Birmingham Post & Mail, city council ICT provider Service Birmingham, construction company Fitzpatrick, office provider Regus, insurance broker Premium Choice and technology company MAG are among the companies relocating.
David Bull, the city council's assistant director of development strategy, warned that existing services between Birmingham and Tamworth could not accommodate the passengers likely to be generated by new housing and employment.
"There are significant employment locations close to the proposed station sites which would widen travel to work opportunities for resident sanden courage regeneration."