Work on Cardiff Central station could now start in 2022, although the design process will finalise how long the scheme will take to reach construction.
The existing Cardiff Central station, a Grade II listed building, was built in the early 1930s.
Work will focus on improving access and ensuring platforms are suited for longer trains, boosting space and capacity for passengers.
Funding has also been released to advance plans for upgraded signalling on the 241km Cambrian line from Shrewsbury Sutton Bridge Junction to Aberystwyth and Pwllheli.
In addition, almost £2m has been committed for the next phase of development work on proposals to speed up journeys between Cardiff and Swansea, Chester and Llandudno Junction, and the Severn Tunnel and Cardiff, through better-aligned tracks.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The host of improvements we are delivering across Wales, from huge infrastructure upgrades to creating new and modern stations, are vital to deliver better, quicker and more convenient journeys for passengers within, into and out of Wales.
“We want to transform travel for passengers and, as we build back better from COVID-19, we will ensure our investment helps to level up all parts of the UK.”