At least £5.5bn was spent on HS2 before construction work even started.
Figures published in Parliament last week confirm £5.5bn of the £56bn budget was spent between 2009 and April 2018.
The money has been spent on the purchase of land and property, design, legal fees, consultants, staffing and other overheads before any main construction work started on site.
Further financial details revealed that HS2 spent £5.7m on 89 agency staff during the six months to December 2018 at an average annual salary of £128,000.
Doubts have been raised over the future of the project due to fears over escalating costs.
But rail minister Andrew Jones said: “Already there are 7,000 jobs supported by the programme; already over 2,000 businesses have HS2 contracts; and already the diggers are on the ground in Birmingham. Building has started.
“And in case you have seen any recent newspaper stories claiming that the northern stages of HS2 might not be built – they are complete nonsense.
“HS2 was conceived, developed and is now being delivered as a national railway – but in particular to improve links for the north and midlands.
“So our commitment to HS2, the full network to Manchester and Leeds, remains undiminished.”