Travel bosses and passenger groups in Liverpool have attacked Network Rail after its chief executive ruled out improvements to Lime Street station.
Network Rail says it has already spent money on the roof
John Armitt told a committee of MPs that although Manchester Piccadilly had cash spent on it, there was no business case to invest further in Liverpool.
His comments have angered the Passenger Focus Group, which argues Lime Street should be a flagship station.
Merseytravel agreed, saying it believed the station had "fantastic potential".
Mr Arnitt made his comments to MPs on Monday, saying money had already been spent on the roof of the station.
"It is not easy to justify significant expenditure at Liverpool Station in the business case sense compared with, say, Manchester Piccadilly."
But David Sidebottom, of the rail consumer watchdog Passenger Focus, believes this is a slap in the face for the people of Merseyside.
He said: "That [investment] was predominately around the Commonwealth Games but with that kind of innovation, that kind of commitment to the city you can see what Manchester Piccadilly has achieved. Why can't Lime Street?
"I think the important thing is that Merseysiders have a sense of pride in their train station."
Merseytravel, the local transport authority, is already spending £2m on an interior facelift in time for Capital of Culture Year in 2008.
Chief Executive Neil Scales said it was disappointing that Network Rail - which owns the station - would not be doing any capital works.
"We would be interested to know why that is because we believe the potential for Lime Street Station could be fantastic," said Mr Scales.
"Liverpool and wider Merseyside is not a cul-de-sac, we are a gateway to the world and it is vital that Network Rail sits up and takes notice of this region's potential."