HS2 has successfully attracted the attention of Brussels, securing funding from the European Commission (EC) for some of the preliminary works.
Through its Connecting Europe facility, the EC has agreed to fund half of the cost of the ground investigation works for phase 1 of the route between London and the West Midlands.
The investigations, which are estimated to cost just over €78 million, will inform the design phase.
HS2 is part of the proposed Core Network and one of many rail projects across the EU benefitting from the Connecting Europe scheme.
The 240-kilometre Phase 1 route will connect central London with a new high-speed terminal in Birmingham.
As well as the ground investigation works, 50 per cent of the funding has also been won to carry out a feasibility study to identify the best way of connecting the new Curzon Street station with Birmingham International station, the airport and the NEC.
By the current timeline, the first section of HS2 will be completed in 2026.