The SD60I (Isolated) "Whispercab" was essentially an SD60M with an improved "isolated" cab (hence the "I") that was designed to minimize noise inside the cab and reduce vibration providing a better working environment for Train & Engine service employees. Conrail purchased its SD60Is as "kits" from EMD, who did not have the production capacity to meet the order at the time. These kits were assembled by the Juniata shops in Altoona. Conrail's SD60Is were numbered from 5575 through 5654, and one exception, 5544. CR 5544 was the first unit designed with the new cab and became the standard for subsequent orders.
The SD60I's are identical to the SD60M's with only a few spotting features telling them apart, the rubber nose seam and reverse mounted nose door.
From my own personal experience, the SD60I is the premier model for sound quality. In notch 8 with the amps in the red, crews can talk at a normal level without having to scream. These cabs are infact so quiet, it's common to have to open the window on occasion to make sure the horn still works!
The units were built with a 2 piece front windshield and 4 piece side windows without sun visors. The side windows are built on an easy slide track design and combined with the tinted glass provide superior crew comfort.
These SD60Is were assembled by Conrail's Juniata diesel shop forces in Altoona from "kits" provided by EMD.
CR SD60I 5580, along with another SD60M and a LMS GE on an eastbound freight at Waterloo, IN back in 1995.
CR SD60I 5607 at JLS in Altoona, PA on March 11th, 1995.
Another view of the roof of CR SD60I 5607 inside the Juniata Shops in Altoona, PA on March 8th, 1995. This view affords a great look at EMD's "Q fans".