First Hull Trains wants to electrify 70 miles (112 km) of track between Hull and Selby
The government has backed plans to electrify the Hull to Selby rail line.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said he was making £2.5m available to take the project to the next stage
First Hull Trains is planning to spend £94m electrifying 70 miles (112km) of track to improve connections with the wider rail network.
Work is already under way to electrify the line from Manchester to Leeds, York and Selby and is due to be completed by December 2018.
Will Dunnett, managing director at First Hull Trains, said: "[It] follows over a year of very detailed technical and commercial negotiations led by First Hull Trains which has moved the programme through two stages of approvals.
"Electrification is a must-have for the region and will drive improvement to our rail services for many years to come with the promise of new rolling stock in time, better connectivity and faster services."
'Need this now'
Brigg and Goole Conservative MP Andrew Percy said the announcement followed a cross-party campaign by all the region's MPs, who met Mr McLoughlin last month.
"The problem if you are not included in the electrification is the risk that you then become just a shuttle service connecting into the main line," Mr Percy said.
"The Department for Transport is keen for the work to be taken forward as soon as possible."
Hull West Labour MP Alan Johnson said he hoped the work could be completed by 2017, when Hull becomes UK City of Culture.
"We need this now, not some unspecified date the other side of 2019, so this announcement today means we can start work next year and have it completed well before 2017," he said.
"It means you can run electric trains rather than diesel trains - it's quicker, smoother and cheaper for passengers."
The plans still need to be given final approval by Network Rail.