This is simply paper-pushing to back gracefully out of Gov. Patrick's Housy white elephant. That's why it's being met by such "[*shrug*] I guess we better have some meetings because we're doing a study now or something" bemusement by the locals. It's just an excuse-me exercise in bread-and-circuses to throw a bone at the Western MA communities who got duped by Patrick's hyperbole about Pittsfield-NYC...nothing more. There's no funding to actually do something with the study results, and it's not clear the state is taking the study seriously enough to pursue the correct inquiries. The state is much more serious about the Inland Route than this.
That said...I hope they give the study full due diligence, because it's not that far-fetched to trial as a seasonal thing and see what happens. As I described earlier in the thread Pittsfield does have an excellent bus hub with connectivity all around Berkshire County, and that's rare for an area as rural as this. All it would take is a frequency bump on some of the BRTA fixed routes (say, the Pittsfield-Great Barrington bus) to make car-free travel to the tourist spots eminently doable. And if nothing else, a good-faith crunching of the metrics could uncover some bus-only (intercity + local) options at Pittsfield Intermodal that do the job just as effectively as the train at a lower up-front investment. So the exercise isn't totally useless if they right-size their focus and just quantify the general transit picture rather than aiming too high for train-or-bust.
As for train data...yeah, the B&A + Post Road in NY would need some upgrading. But not a whole lot because they're thinking of this as a peak tourist season-only train akin to the Cape Flyer, with a very risk-averse initial investment and no promises of premier-level service unless it proves itself. Hedging correctly on ultra-low risk and a trial they can get out of after a couple of seasons if it just doesn't attract ridership could make it more palatable than something that would require substantial capital upgrades right off the bat. MA's barrier for entry is going to depend a lot on how much equipment NYSDOT orders for the next PRIAA procurement, which will inform how many of their schedules entertain additional pokes around the Cap District to places like Saratoga. If NYSDOT takes advantage of the optimal unit costs of that loco + coach + (maybe cab?) order to bank a lot of extras for frequency & general expansion on the Empire, then they'll have enough flexibility on the fringes of those reserves to experiment with more weekender/seasonal trains (since those limited-service equipment requirements are a drop-in-the-bucket compared to the day-to-day Empire slate at-large). MA would be wise to have the hard data crunched on that for where its subsidy could go, because the ALB-Pittsfield poke would certainly make the shortlist of one of those minor weekender trials under consideration. Though probably not clocking in near the top of the list.