No ground has been broken for the proposed 28-mile regional rail project, but the Triangle Transit Authority has spent $136.4 million over the past decade to buy land and make plans.

Congress has appropriated money for TTA trains every fiscal year since 1997, for a total of $104.2 million. The appropriation for 2006 has not yet been converted into a grant, so TTA's federal grant total so far is $84.6 million.

The grant money from Washington has been matched so far with $30.3 million from the state and $30.4 million from local revenues, for combined taxpayer funding of $145.3 million.

TTA's local funds come from a 5 percent tax on vehicle rentals and a $5 annual vehicle registration fee approved in the 1990s by county commissioners in Wake, Durham and Orange counties.

As of the end of 2005, TTA had spent $136.4 million on the rail project. Major expenditures include:

* Engineering and design consultants: $80.9 million. The biggest recipient is Parsons Brinckerhoff, which produced TTA's environmental impact statement and serves as lead engineering consultant.

Parsons Brinckerhoff has been paid $53 million. TTA officials estimate that about 53 percent of this was redistributed among 19 firms hired as PB's subcontractors.

* Railroad right of way: $25.3 million (including $24.5 million paid to CSX Railroad).

* Real estate expenses: $18.9 million (including appraisals, environmental assessments, and $17.8 million in direct land purchases).