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Last Updated 13-Sep-2002

Aliasing the SD60M

From the cab of Union Pacific's SD60M No. 6260. This loco has the Q-Trak system fitted.

Since there are several SD60M locos in various liveries available at (and other sites probably), webWiz thought he might as well alias the cabview and sounds as soon as he downloaded the SD60M in Union Pacific livery. Going by the date when the SD60M was uploaded to, aliasing wasn't used so it's a good exercise now to see what's involved.

Basically aliasing involves changing the paths, that is, the folder names, in a loco's ENGine, CabView and, perhaps, sound (SMS) files to point to graphics and sound files that are already present on your hard drive, usually from one of the locos installed as part of MSTS.

Looking at the cabview on the left of the SD60M, you'll notice there are several dials, guages, handles and indicators that you've seen in other locos' cabviews. Since the graphics for these items are already stored in some other loco's folder, to save disk space we can insert the path to these graphics into the CVF file.

In fact, if we're going to collect several different SD60s, we may as well put the SD60M's cabview into its own subfolder in a special folder we'll call "Common.Cab" so we can use it for any SD60M we install. Similarly, we'll use a "Common.Snd" folder with sub-folders for sound files for different motors (e.g., one for the BR Class 37, one for EMD's turbocharged motors, and so on).

One everything is set up, other SD60s can "share" the cabview and sounds. We can even use this arrangement for other similar locos (say, SD80s) that don't have their own cabview but an SD60 cabview is more realistic than a GP38 or Dash 9 cabview.

Files from

A pair of SD60M's, heading a consist of grain hoppers, begin the steep climb out of Coram on Marias Pass (UP leased track time from BNSF).

These are the files you need to download from Before installing any of these, keep reading on for instructions.

Loco files:

  • (19-Aug-01): original model By Del Ray Bascom.
  • (27-Aug-01): front cabview for SD60M.
  • (13-Sep-01): upgrade of front panel cabview.

Sound files:

  • (17-Nov-01): NALW re-packaging of EMD loco sounds for easy installation; also conforms to NALW's aliasing method by using the "Common.Snd" folder to store sounds common to different locos so they can be easily used (and disk space is saved!).
  • (22-Jan-02): NALW re-packing of SD loco sounds, using "Common.Snd" for aliasing.
  • (3Mb, 04-Sep-02) or (09-Sep-02): realistic EMD engine sounds, including between-notch sounds. Try them - they are more realistic than other, earlier versions (some had problems with the 04-Sep version so that's the reason for the later version).

Engine physics files:

  • (02-Jan-02): updated ENGine files for various SD models, to give more realistic performance, especially in terms of acceleration and braking (it takes longer to come to rest!). We won't need to install the files in this folder - we'll just extract the one we need when we need it. In this case, we'll be extracting "sd60.eng".


UP SD60M grain train drifting down to Nyack on the Marias Pass route.

Emd40snd and gp40_snd each have their own install programs so extract each to your unziptemp folder, check for viruses and Run... the setup program from Windows' Start. You can do them now.

Now let's deal with Firstly create a new folder under C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Train Simulator\Trains\Trainset\ and call it SD60. To do this, start (Windows) Explorer, open (i.e., click the +) Program Files, Microsoft Games, Train Simulator, Trains and click on Trainset. Now use File | New | Folder from the top menu of Explorer.

Load WinZip and open Open the "readme". From WinZip's Actions menu, choose Select all (you can hold down CTRL and un-choose file_id.diz and the jpg files if you want).

Now choose the Extract button. In the Extract dialogue box, note if the checkbox next to Use folder names at the bottom left is ticked. Sometimes an author will have specified the folders in which to store his/her files (the Path column in the WinZip window will be filled) and it's worth leaving it checked in most instances. For sd60m, it's not going to matter - we'll specify where we want the files to go to.

In the Folders/Drives list, keep clicking on the +'s till you get to the SD60 folder. On the top left, in the Extract to: entry, the path will fill up as you open more subfolders on the way down to SD60.

Once you've highlighted SD60, click the Extract button.

It's a good idea to have the same name for the folder name and ENGine file name. So start (Windows) Explorer, click your way to the SD60 folder and rename the ENGine file to SD60.eng. While here, change the names of the "s" and "sd" files to sd60.s and (we're going to use an updated engine file from which uses sd60 for file names).

Cabview alias

Highway 2 from the Great Lakes to Seattle follows much of the Marias Pass track near Summit.

Now we'll deal with the two files for the SD60M cabview: and Richard's instructions apply to the days before aliasing so we'll make a couple of changes so his files go into an SD60 sub-folder under our Common.Cab folder. If you haven't got a Common.Cab folder, create it now under C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Train Simulator\Trains\Trainset\. Highlight Common.Cab and create a new folder named SD60 so it's a sub-folder of Common.Cab.

Now with loaded into WinZip, we'll extract Richard's files into ...\Common.Cab\SD60\. We only need to extract the ACE graphics files and the CVF file so select them then extract - use Folders/drives to open up the folder tree until you get to SD60 under Common.Cab. Once you've done that, you can open and extract the ACE graphic file to ...\Common.Cab\SD60\ (see the "readme").

The CVF file in ...\Common.Cab\SD60\ assumes we've got the rest of the graphics (ACE) files that Richard has used for his cabview in this folder (see his "readme" where he's told us to copy the Dash 9 cabview folder - we're not doing it his way, though). Our next job is to go through sd60.cvf and insert the correct path, i.e. folder name, for each graphic (ACE) file so our loco can find it.

Start WordPad - you never thought you'd use it, but it's the editor for MSTS files because these files are in "Unicode-text format" and WordPad can handle this type of file. Note that NotePad cannot so don't use it!. Load up sd60.cvf from ...\Common.Cab\SD60\. Our job here is to through and insert the correct path for each ACE file. Some are in ...\Common.Cab\ and others are in ...\Dash9\Cabview\. Start (Windows) Explorer and open the ...\Common.Cab\SD60\ folder so we can see what's there - the rest of the ACE files must be in ...\Dash9\Cabview\.

For files existing in ...\Common.Cab\SD60\, we'll precede the file name with


and for files in ..\Dash9\Cabview\, we'll precede the file name with


One last bit of editing for each file name is to enclose everything in quotes; for example:




Now it's a matter of just going through to insert the correct path. Use (Windows) Explorer to help. Click the Save icon often and make sure you Save before exiting WordPad. Use "copy and paste", too, to save typing.

As a final note, you may be wondering why we're using \\ in the path names. It seems that Kuju, the developers of MSTS, did all their work on a Sun system, or at least used C/C++ and, consequently, all MSTS files follow the conventions of those languages . The first slash tells MSTS that the following character means what it says, i.e. is a path separator. And that's the reason, too, why all MSTS files are in unicode text format and need to be edited in WordPad.

Aliasing the sounds

A lone UP SD60 leads a special excursion on a cold, snowy day.

We're going to use the SD40 sounds from the ...\Common.Snd\SD40\ folder you've already installed. To use these sounds, we're going to edit the SD60 ENGine file in the folder for the SD60 loco. Firstly, though, we want to extract the SD60 engine file from into our SD60 engine folder. We're going to use this new engine file because its author, Bob Boudoin, has tweaked some of the parameters of the SD60 motor and braking system to give more realism to how they operate.

Here are the steps:

  • Start (Windows) Explorer and work your way down the folder tree until you get to our SD60 loco's folder, ...\Trainset\SD60\.
  • Highlight sdsixty.eng, press F2 to rename it; rename this file to sdsixity-orig-eng.bkp (this is my normal format for renaming original files; if it was a cvf file, the original would be renamed to blah-orig-cvf.bkp. bkp stands for backup; you could use bak but some disk cleaning utilities clobber bak files).
  • With loaded into WinZip, scroll down to sd60.eng (there are two files; check you've highlighted the one where, over in the path column, it says Correct couplers.
  • This is one of those occasions when we don't want to use WinZip's feature that extracts file(s) to a specified folder. Click the Extract button; uncheck Use folder names in the bottom left of the Extract dialogue box.
  • In the Folders/drive box, open up the folder tree until you get to our SD60 loco folder (over in the Extract to: box you'll see the end of the path ...\Trainset\SD60\). Extract the file.
  • That's another job done!

We'll now edit our new engine file so it refers to our cabview file and sound files in Common.Cab and Common.Snd respectively.

The ENGine file

Enjoying the luxurious comfort of the parlour car (note the well-upholstered lounge seating).

Start WordPad, choose File | Open and wend your way through the folder tree until you reach ...\TrainSet\SD60\. In the Open dialogue box, choose all file types from File types drop down list at the bottom of this dialogue box - you'll see sd60.eng now appear in the file list. Click Open to load it.

From the Edit menu, choose Find or press CTRL-F. In the Find box, enter cabview and press Enter or click Find Next. You'll be taken to a line which looks like this (it may or may not have the quote marks):

CabView ( "sd60m.cvf" )

Change it to read as follows below (it would seem that MSTS automatically looks for a loco to have a Cabview sub-folder and goes there to find a CVF file, unless told otherwise):

CabView ( "..\\..\\Common.Cab\\SD60\\sd60m.cvf" )

We're not quite finished yet - we have to tell MSTS where to find the SD60's sound files. Do a CTRL-HOME to get back to the start of the file, do a CTRL-F and in the Find what:, type in sound. You'll be at a line that looks like this (the quotes may or may not be there):

Sound ( "sd60Eng.sms" )

Change this line to read as follows:

Sound ( "..\\..\\Common.Snd\\EMD_sd40\\sd40Eng.sms" )

There are always two sound files for each engine file, so do a CTRL-F again, sound is still there so press ENTER or click Find next. You'll be at a line like this (it points to the sounds we hear in the cab):

Sound ( "sd60cab.sms" )

Change this line to:

Sound ( "..\\..\\Common.Snd\\EMD_sd40\\sd40cab.sms" )

Note that the best we can do for unique SD60 sounds is to use those of the SD40 that Rob Easterday has developed for use with MSTS. We have to compromise with sounds but we want to be as authentic as possible. So, for example, we wouldn't use the Dash 9 sounds (a GE loco) for the sounds of an EMD loco (e.g., any SD model).

By the way, if you're a BR fan and have downloaded any or all of the Class 37, 47 or Deltic locos, ensure you download the Class 37/Deltic sounds package ( - Class 37's do not sound anything like a Dash 9 (Deltics have a Napier horizontally-opposed 18-cylinder motor - enough said; see the Deltic Presevation Society's site (

One last job... start ConBuilder and create a consist for your new, shining, SD60. Then you can start MSTS and fire it up for a run. Enjoy!

If I've omitted anything or been confusing, please mail me at and I'll try to help.