Expanding rail passenger planning without high speed rail: Western Massachusetts
Albany-Renssalaer Train station, Wikipedia photo.
While there are many railroad commuter services across the country, in the northeast, there are extant rail passenger systems in Greater Boston, Greater New York City (including Connecticut), New Jersey, Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware, in Maryland and Virginia, that for the most part are built on "legacy" railroad passenger services that had been first offered by for profit railroad companies decades ago.
You can see how improving rail service in this area, and from north of Poughkeepsie, which wasn't part of the study, could help to revive these areas economically, and would be an economic development strategy worth considering for Upstate New York and Western Connecticut, and Western Massachusetts, even if the state governments are hard pressed for money, and while New York's MTA faces massive economic hardship. Also see this 2007 article, "Regional Passenger Rail Projects Await Green Light" from the Hill Country Observer.
For me the reason it is worth considering is that these areas are already familiar with rail passenger service. It isn't a new phenomenon, and it is something that people would likely ride, if they had the option.
Although it isn't forecasted that the service would have "transit oriented development" potential, as the plan called for station areas with large parking lots.