It is not correct to state that one type of equipment can't make the grades on the Danbury Branch. Anything can run that line provided that it is in
decent or OK shape and all systems working. The two times that I had trouble on that branch were both with wet rail and FL-9 power, once with a
pair with no sand in leave season in the late fall and the other time with a single FL-9 with a grounded traction motor so it was running on three
traction motors, on that one we got as far as Wilton but the engine would not sufficiently load to get us around the curve just north of Wilton Station
and when we tried to use all four motors, we got immediate ground relay action so we had to wait for a GP-9 from Danbury to tow us up the hills to
As for MU's, any New Haven MU whether one of the old green ones in the winter time or a 4400 the rest of the year basically had no problems making the trip on this line in either direction. After the wires were killed and the Budd RDC cars took over the shuttles, we still had very little trouble with them. I remember going to Danbury one evening with either the 43 or the 47, can't remember which, and one engine kept shutting down. The engine died leaving Wilton bound for Danbury so I kept going and made it out of Wilton and also up the hill from Branchville to Topstone with a slight loss of time but we kept moving and made it all the way to Danbury.
Having said all of the above, I will further say this, the wires should never have been pulled down but they were. At this point, it would not really make sense to put them back up although if the demand increases to a point where much more service is needed, I think it would justify putting the wires back up.
This line really needs a decent CTC type signal system with cab signals more than anything else.