The business case for the £200M, 11km extension of the Midland Metro from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill in the West Midlands has been handed to transport secretary Chris Grayling.
The new route is the first of a series of proposed extensions to the route which currently runs from Wolverhampton to Birmingham.
The work will be delivered by the Midland Metro Alliance, made up of the West Midlands Combined Authority, the design consortium of Egis, Tony Gee and Pell Frischmann and contractor Colas Rail, with sub-alliance partners Colas, Barhale, Bouygues UK and Auctus Management Group.
The extension would run through Great Bridge, Horseley Heath, Dudley Port, Dudley town centre, the Waterfront, and Merry Hill, before terminating at Brierley Hill town centre.
Future plans for the line include extensions to Wolverhampton interchange and the HS2 terminal at Curzon Street in Birmingham.
The Brierley Hill route forms part of longer-term ambitions to link the Black Country to the HS2 network, making Dudley town centre just 40 minutes to the HS2 terminal by tram.
Part funding for the scheme has already been secured from West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) contributions and the Local Growth Fund, however West Midlands mayor Andy Street said more would be needed.
“The leaders of the local authorities within the West Midlands Combined Authority have done a first class job in developing the plans to this stage,” said Street. “Now we need to secure the final funding.
He said for every pound invested in the project, £2.50 would be returned for the local economy and journey times from stops along the route to central Birmingham would be halved.