Springfield to Boston rail
Initially, I was skeptical of this but a few recent changes here and there have pretty much changed my mind in the viability of this.
The ones that would be against this the most would be Peter Pan bus company and technically Boston area real estate agents.
These are what I see technically are more recent developments
1) This can be considered a bit of a payback for the creation of the CRRC rail plant which is making the new red and orange line MBTA cars.
2) The Boston Area Chamber of Commerce supports a study on this. Why would they? Well perhaps they know that with the current presidential administration the viability for new visa holders is low. However, infrastructure spending might be more readily approved. They have a labor shortage and recognize that either some of their workforce is currently coming from western mass, additional could and this could lower traffic in boston
3) Communities in eastern CT (old lyme) are attempting to block upgrades to allow Acela to operate. The rerouting is facing old CT money. If CT tries to block the upgrades it would make more sense for opening up Springfield to Boston for a second Boston to NYC route. This adds capacity at a much lower cost then the rerouting.
Opponents Of Old Lyme Amtrak Rail Proposal Seek State Legislative Help - Hartford Courant
4) Union station opens up next week. This is a huge upgrade from the current Amtrak station which is awful, to say the least. A modern facility with rail, intercity bus, regional and nationwide is huge.
5) NHHS rail starts in January. 12 trips a day from Springfield to Hartford to New Haven. That builds ridership and that validates #3
6) Further linkage potentially from Montreal to New Haven and Boston to Montreal also would be going through the area. This won't happen for quite some time but as ridership builds it could happen.
The fact that the Mass turnpike even exists with tolls is evidence that people will pay to travel from one end to another.