Setting Up Steam Locomotive Consists

Introduction

Many of the team-ALCO steam engines use an extra "Crew" Engine file in locomotive consists to provide extra effects and correct spacing for the locomotive consist.

I'm going to walk you through setting up a typical steam locomotive-hauled train consist using both Conbuilder and MSTS's own Consist Editor to show you how to create your own consists.The example I'm going to use is the 36 class loco pack's 3616 loco and Russett CUB Set, thus......3616 and Russett CUB Set

Using this example you'll be able to set up correctly arranged consists for team-ALCO's 36, 38, H, X class steam locomotives.

Crew Files

Use this table to determine the correct Crew file to use with your steam locomotive when building a consist.

team-ALCO Locomotive

Crew Description

NSWGR 36 Class
TA 36 Class Crew
NSWGR Garratt
~ not required ~
NSWGR 38 Class
C38CREW
Victorian Railways H Class
TA VR H-220 Crew
Victorian Railways X28, X32, X51
TA VR X-class Crew {booster}
Victorian Railways X36
TA VR X36 Crew {no booster}
Victorian Railways N Class
South Australian Railways 750 class
~ not required ~
Victorian Railways S Class
~ not required ~

Consist Creation Using Conbuilder

The images below are copmressed to 500 pixels wide to fit the page neatly. If you need to see it full-size, right-click on image and Select "View Image".

  1. Open Conbuilder. Click on the down arrow beside the Filter icon and select Steam.

    Select steam locomotives

  2. Scroll down and select the loco you require by double-clicking on the name of the loco required.
    It is placed into the consist set-up window.
    If you accidentally select the wrong item, simply double-click on the orange and black image and it will be removed from the consist.
    See below.

    Adding locos to the consist

  3. Now scroll up, find and double-click on the TA 36 Class Crew to add the crew to the consist.
    You will note that the crew appear as a 1 HP engine.
    See below.

    Adding the Crew

  4. Now select Tenders from the drop-down filter box. The list of tenders appear in the right-hand pane.

    3616 and Russett CUB Set

  5. Select the tender you require by double-clicking on the appropriate name of the tender required.
    See below.

    3616 and Russett CUB Set

  6. From the "Filter" Tab and drop-down box, select "Carriages" (if you're setting up a goods train, you'd select Freight).
    See below.

    3616 and Russett CUB Set

  7. Select the carriage you require by double-clicking on the appropriate name of the carriage required (in the case of the CUB sets, we've made it easy for you by numbering the CUB set carriages 1-6 to assist you in setting up the consist).
    See below.

    3616 and Russett CUB Set

  8. Continue to select the carriages you require until you have completed the consist.
    See below.

    3616 and Russett CUB Set

  9. You need to name and describe the consist. I recommend using underscores, not spaces in the filename; the description should be understandable so that when you're selecting a consist when designing an activity, you will know what you're selecting ( ie "6-car pass" is not very descriptive, but "CUB Set (3616)" gives you a lot more information).
    See below.

    3616 and Russett CUB Set

  10. Now when you start MSTS, select the locomotive and then the consist, click "Start" and away you go.
    See below.

    3616 and Russett CUB Set

  11. All completed.

    3616 and Russett CUB Set


Consist Creation Using MSTS' Consist Editor (MSTS-CE)

The images below are compressed to 500 pixels wide to fit the page neatly. Simply click on the image to see it full-size; click the "Back" button or press "Backspace" key to return to this tutorial./

I'll assume you know how to get to the Consist Editor (if not, visit and read the tutorial at http://steam4me.railpage.org.au/trainsim/consists.html). The MSTS-CE is much more tedious and fiddly to use than Conbuilder, but I'll include instructions here for those of you that are rusted-on MSTS-CE users. But for consist creation, Conbuilder Lite beats MSTS-CE hands down.

  1. When you arrive at the CE screen, you are presented with a blank screen as below.
    See below.

    Making up a consist using MSTS-CE Step #1

  2. Click on "Rolling Stock Types" drop-down box and select Steam Locomotives.
    See below.

    <Making up a consist using MSTS-CE Step #2

  3. Click and drag the separator between name and coupler-type to expand the description of the rolling stock.
    Click on the word "Name" to sort the description list into some semblance of order. MSTS-CE has its own mysterious way of sorting items and even repeated clicking on the title bar doesn't seem to give a perfect sort, so you have to scroll up and down looking for that particular item of rolling stock.
    In some cases it doesn't even show all the items (even though they're visible in Conbuilder). Aaargh!
    See below.

    Making up a consist using MSTS-CE Step #3

  4. Scroll down and find the loco you are looking for. The handle icon at left indicates that the loco is a player loco. When you find the loco name, click on it to see a thumbnail image. Many of team-ALCO's locos look like this in MSTS-CE due to their sophisticated two-part construction: MSTS-CE only sees one part. Double-click to add the loco to the consist.
    See below.

    Making up a consist using MSTS-CE Step #4

  5. Scroll down and find the crew. It's so small that MSTS-CE doesn't display a thumbnail image, either in the box at right or in the consist line-up. Double-click on the name and you'll see the blue line ever so slightly lengthen.

    See below.

    Making up a consist using MSTS-CE Step #5

  6. From the drop-down box, select Freight Cars (MSTS-CE doesn't have a separate display option for tenders).
    See below.

    Making up a consist using MSTS-CE Step #6

  7. Search for and add the tender by double-clicking on the name.
    See below.

    Making up a consist using MSTS-CE Step #7

  8. From the drop-down box, select Passenger Cars
    See below.

    Making up a consist using MSTS-CE Step #8

  9. As before, build up the consist by searching for and double-clicing on each item of rolling stock as required.
    See below.

    Making up a consist using MSTS-CE Step #9

  10. Finally add the filename and description, then click Save & Exit.
    The Consist tutorial (http://steam4me.railpage.org.au/trainsim/consists.html) has instructions for escaping from MSTS Editors and Tools.
    See below.

    Making up a consist using MSTS-CE Step #10 border=

  11. You're done. As you can see, Conbuilder is much easier to use than MSTS-CE.