MODELING: CB&Q XM-32 Express Boxcar

The Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad was one of the legendary granger roads that operated some comfortable passenger accomodations between the cities like Denver, Chicago and Fort Worth.   Quarter-inch scale modeler, Santiago Pineda, is a real dieheart fan of the road.  He has amassed a sizeable collection of equipment and locomotives.  He does put his stamp on each and every model with paint and or details.  Santiago hails from Bogata, Columbia.  He studied at LSU.  Somewhere along the line he develped a serious interest in the CB&Q.

Express boxcars are an interesting application of what looks like a standard AAR steel boxcar.  Railroads depended upon bulk mail, priority LCL shipments as a means for making money off of passenger operations.  Configuring a boxcar to run in high speed passenger service entailed changing or adding hardware to perform in this service.

Here is Santiago’s description of his project:

The CB&Q Havelock erecting shops delivered their first class XM-32 boxcars in 1940. Within that batch, the first 50 were intended for head-end baggage, mail and express service. These cars, numbers 30000-30049, were consequently equipped with steam and air signal lines. And, to match their heavyweight companions, were painted Pullman green in contrast to the standard freight mineral red. Although they were seldomly assigned, they served the Q’ throughout the 40’s and 50’s and all the way to the late E7 years.

I strived to model this Burlington oddity using a standard O scale Protocraft 1937 AAR boxcar. Detailing-wise, some work had to be done. I swapped the Bettendorf trucks with a pair of PSC allied full cushion ones. To do this, I tapped the car bolster with a size M3 x 0.5 tap drill. I also removed the outer brake shoes and modified the end cross bars to get rid of the conspicuous screws. Other additions include: a PSC steam signal line running along the frame of the car, ownership plates on either sides of the car and correct stepladders. For painting and lettering, I used Revell enamels and Microscale-printed, Protocraft decals.


I’m pleased to have completed this special project. This unusual critter is a welcome addition to my Exposition Flyer head-end equipment.

Hope you enjoyed Santiago’s story about the XM-32.



6 thoughts on “MODELING: CB&Q XM-32 Express Boxcar

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.