The Portland metro area saw the DMU and fell in love. Immediate plans were drawn up and an existing railroad found to host this new-fangled, "cost-effective" mode of rail transport.
Fast forward to 2020: The WES Commuter Rail system has failed to make a single ridership projection - it was supposed to be 2,500 riders after the first year and 5,000 daily riders today. It has hit 2,000 daily rides exactly one month, and has hovered around 1600-1700. It costs $17 each time a rider gets on the train - compared to just $3 for a bus rider. It requires three engines per car (two for propulsion and one for HVAC) and gets 1 mile per gallon, or 1/5th that of a bus. It requires a crew of two, but carries less than that of two buses. The capital expense was $165 million and it has cost tens of millions of dollars later in track repairs, signal upgrades (PTC) and other expenses, on top of the $16 million a year it costs to operate the single 14.7 mile line from Wilsonville to Beaverton through Tigard.
On the flip side, the proposed MAX line from Portland to Tigard will cost over $200 million per mile just to build but the vast majority of its ridership will come from the 12 bus lines that will be cancelled or significantly downsized, and the ridership projection has been reduced on account TriMet is having to cut parking lots from the project to cut costs (and acknowledge the irony that MAX actually induces motor vehicle traffic by building "free" parking lots, whereas most bus riders walk to/from the bus.)