Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said in a speech at the Institute of Civil Engineers that council leaders in Birmingham and Nottingham support HS2.
Speaking today he said: "In Britain we try to patch up what we've already got, we haven't built a new train line north of London for at least 120 years.
"But there is a point when patching up is not enough, you just don't get the capacity.
"We're reaching that point on the links between the cities and into them, which is why HS2 is part, and I stress, just part, on the investment we need to make.
"The sort of investment which has wide political backing from city council leaders in places like Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Nottingham."
More top news
Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy has earned himself a place in football's history today after scoring against Manchester United.
Further showers or longer spells of rain for many tonight, heavy at times, particularly over the hills.
Further blustery showers are likely through the night, with these heaviest and most numerous towards the west.