May 8, 1996, the Housatonic Railroad delivered an unusual cargo to the Danbury Railway
Museum's yard: three military vehicles destined for the Military Museum of Southern New England in
This is an M110A2
Self-Propelled 8-inch Howitzer. When fired, a shell leaves the muzzel at a velocity of
2,300 feet per second and can travel more than 18 miles. It's powered by a Detroit Diesel
and has a top speed of between 30 an 45 mph. Military Museum members drove it from the DRM
yard to the Military Museum at about 30 mph, with plenty of speed left in reserve. The
M110A2 was built by Bowen-McLauchlin-York of York, Pennsylvania. Previous models of this
weapon were used in Vietnam. Whether this particular one was ever used in combat is not
yet known; the Military Museum has no details on its history.
On the second flat car are two items: an M114 155mm Howitzer and an M578 Light Armored Full Tracked Recovery Vehicle.
The howitzer is a towed weapon, first produced in 1942 as medium artillery. Until recently they were in service with the Connecticut National Guard. One company equipped with these howitzers was stationed in Danbury. The weapon uses NATO standard 155mm ammunition, with a range of about 14,000m.
The tracked vehicle is an M578 Light Armored Full Tracked Recovery Vehicle. It's built
on the same chassis as the M110 8-inch Howitzer, but it has a turret with a boom rather
than a gun barrel. It's used to recover damaged vehicles from the battlefield. This one is
painted in desert colors, but it is not known whether it saw service in the Gulf War.
Having dropped off
the military cargo, the Housatonic RR departs. (This is a railway museum page,
after all -- we have to have a photo of the train!)
Visit the Military Museum to see these and many other weapons and exhibits. The Military Museum's home page gives their open hours and driving directions.
The DRM thanks Robert Wichmann, a member of the Military Museum and the keeper of their Web pages, for the information on this page about the military cargo. Photographs on this page are by Terri Stramiello of the DRM.
DRM HomeROS Last modified: Sun Jun 23 22:57:00 1996