Plans for the upgrade of the station with new footbridge and opening of its unused second platform were submitted to Hartlepool Borough Council on Thursday.
Project leaders at the Tees Valley Combined Authority hailed the “milestone” as they revealed the project’s first pictures.
The scheme is due to see the station’s redundant second platform brought back and a footbridge and new lifts installed.
Project managers say it will boost capacity and the chance for more services for what is the busiest single-platform station in the UK.
Prior to the pandemic Hartlepool station saw up to 650,000 passengers a year.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, who secured the funding from the Government, said the station redevelopment will also support the newly-announced Hartlepool Mayoral Development Corporation.
He said: “Local people have been crying out for years for the second platform to be reinstated and I am pleased to be able to make it happen.
"This is the next step in giving them what they want and making it easier than ever to get to, from and around our region.”
The station hosts direct services between London and Sunderland and connects Middlesbrough, Newcastle and other key economic centres on the Durham Coast rail line with Northern services.
Work is due to begin this summer and aims to be completed in time for the Tall Ships Races next July.
Councillor Shane Moore, the leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “We are delighted to receive these plans for consideration by the Council’s planning department.
“It takes us an important step closer to making the railway station fit for the 21st Century and ready for the many visitors who will be heading to Hartlepool when we welcome back the Tall Ships next year."
The work is also supported by Network Rail, which is responsible for the infrastructure, and train operator Northern.
Network Rail’s Kieran Dunkin said: “This huge investment will dramatically change the way that Hartlepool station works for passengers, making it easier to use, better connected and ready to respond to the town’s future growth."
Kerry Peters, regional director at Northern added: "We welcome the investment and long-term benefits the work would bring to our customers.”