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Train Inventory Software

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  • Member since
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  • From: Staten Island NY
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Posted by joe323 on Thursday, November 08, 2018 6:33 AM

I use excel mainly because I get the entire office suite for home use at next to nothing through the Microsoft Home User Program. I think it was like $10 so you should see if your employer participates.

Joe Staten Island West 

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Posted by Mainesam on Monday, September 09, 2019 8:58 AM

PRR01

 

Are there any useful train inventory software programs?  I am looking for something a step up from Excel.  A lot of the discussions I found on MR or google are really old, and links to many systems don't exist.  

 

 

Apple is soon going to a 64 bit format so all older programs and most legacy programs will no longer work if you upgrade to latest IOS this Fall.  I would, therefore, be very suspect of using older program.

Excel should continue to work well, even though no photos.

An option for photos might be a group of albums in the IOS photo app.

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Posted by railandsail on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 11:10 AM

Mainesam

Apple is soon going to a 64 bit format so all older programs and most legacy programs will no longer work if you upgrade to latest IOS this Fall.  I would, therefore, be very suspect of using older program.

 

Excel should continue to work well, even though no photos.

An option for photos might be a group of albums in the IOS photo app.

 

Does that mean that many persons that have their inventory on an older program will no longer be able to read it on a new system / computer??

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Posted by Stevert on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 11:47 AM

railandsail

 

 
Mainesam

Apple is soon going to a 64 bit format so all older programs and most legacy programs will no longer work if you upgrade to latest IOS this Fall.  I would, therefore, be very suspect of using older program.

 

Excel should continue to work well, even though no photos.

An option for photos might be a group of albums in the IOS photo app.

 

 

 

Does that mean that many persons that have their inventory on an older program will no longer be able to read it on a new system / computer??

 

 

I'm guessing that's only an issue if you're constrained by using a Mac.

I've been using 64-bit versions of Windows for many years now, and the (not always "older") 32-bit versions of programs continue to Always Just Work.

 

To get back on topic, my inventory tool of choice is a database using OpenOffice's "Base". It's similar to Access, except IMHO it's much easier and more intuitive. (And that's from the perspective of having retired from a 40-year IT career!)

It's very easy to suck out some specific set of data using a query, and format into a readable report if you so desire. You want a report showing all your 50-foot box cars, broken down by manufacturer and sorted by road number within road name? No problem, use Base's in-built report wizard!

Oh, and OO runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac so everyone's covered. IIRC, they also have an Android reader, although I just create a PDF when I need something on my phone.

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Posted by kbaker329 on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 12:19 PM

I second (or third) the use of Easy Model Railroad Inventory.  It allows you to inventory cars, engines, structures, electronics, parts, etc.  You can export to a spreadsheet and create about any type of report you want.  It also allows a photo to be added to each entry.  

There is an operations segment as well but I have not used this yet.

It does take time to put all of this information together, but i think it's helpful for insurance purchases, travel to train shops & shows, etc.

Just my two cents!

HO scale modeling N&W and Union Pacific, somewhere in Missouri between 1940 & 1990!
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Posted by keystonecrossings on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 5:16 PM

If you plan to get into operations with the use of car cards and waybills as a freight car forwarding system, check out Shenware's software. It is dirt cheap and provides both an inventory system (with really scary reports!) as well as car card functionality.

Jerry Britton

Modeling the Pennsylvania Railroad's Middle Division in the early 1950s

http://pennsyrr.com

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Posted by railandsail on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 8:46 PM

To get back on topic, my inventory tool of choice is a database using OpenOffice's "Base". It's similar to Access, except IMHO it's much easier and more intuitive.

Where do you find this "Base"? When I click on my Open Office I do NOT find "Base" ??

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Posted by railandsail on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 9:01 PM

G Paine

At Boothbay Railway Village, we use Easy Model Railroad Inventory. It is a freeware program.

http://easy-model-railroad-inventory.software.informer.com/5.4/

 

 

Can someone tell me what button to push to download the latest version?...sorry I'm just computer iliterate.  Every button I pushed said the particular 'latest version' was not available?...neither the latest, nor previous version?   confused. What are all the other buttons?...some other crap they want to download to my computer?

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Posted by Stevert on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 11:24 PM

railandsail

 

 
To get back on topic, my inventory tool of choice is a database using OpenOffice's "Base". It's similar to Access, except IMHO it's much easier and more intuitive.

 

Where do you find this "Base"? When I click on my Open Office I do NOT find "Base" ??

When you open OO to it's initial screen, on the left-hand side at the bottom of the "Create:" list is "Base Database".

However, if you've never used it before, and/or if you're not familar with relational database concepts, you may want to peruse a tutorial or three. Just Google "OpenOffice base tutorial" (without the quotes) and you'll get lots of hits...

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Posted by railandsail on Thursday, September 12, 2019 8:41 AM

I'm using Open Office 4. When I open the intial page I do NOT see "create" and I do NOT see "base database" ?

I do see a "database". Is this what we are talking about?

I really do wish that these computer folks would stop interchanging words, and actually utilize the exact quoted terminolgy. Its confusing sometimes when are looking for the QUOTED references.

While I am on a rant, I also get confused when someone offers a site for a 'download' of a particular program, whatever. I go to that reference page and see 2-5 'download boxes' . What do I chose that is NOT going to load numerous crap onto my computer. Do we all have to be computer nerds to sort these things out?

...sorry for the rant...

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Posted by GN_Fan on Friday, September 20, 2019 11:45 AM

I use a 20 year old version of MS Acess to keep track of my rolling stock.  With about 250 pieces of rolling stock, I cannot remember everything.  For freight cars I can track AAR class, door size, length, height, weight, rolling ability, and 50 or so more variables.  For passenger cars it AAR class, revenue capy, accomodations, livery style, and around 30 other variables.  Ditto for the locos.  There's so much info I'm tracking, I need 5-6 tabs in my input forms to hold the info, including a photo.  Of course I need to know whether the car is in service, stored servicable, stored not servicable, in the erecting shops, or retired.  For freight cars, I track whether the car is empty, being loaded, loaded or being unloaded, and if an industry need cars I have a program that will find the correct AAR class car that is in service, empty, and close-by, and make up a switch list to get the cars to where they are needed.  I have a program that will tell me when a car is expected to ready for pick-up, so the local knows what to get via a switch list.  Of course all this takes a bit of programming, but with my IT major in collage (not much OJT as I had a dual major and mostly worked the other one) and a good how-to book, it was all doable....challenging, but doable.  For me, it worked out pretty good, but for someone without a programming knowledge, not so much.

Alea Iacta Est -- The Die Is Cast
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Posted by Brammy on Tuesday, October 01, 2019 8:31 AM

I use an Excel sheet (Well, numbers on my Mac). I track reporting marks, type, manufacturer and how many of them I have. I put a small grey dot sticker on the botton of the car to show I entered it.

 

I also use a sheet to track how often I run certain locomotives and the train type, but that's a different level of geekery.

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Posted by York1 on Tuesday, October 01, 2019 9:00 AM

railandsail
 To get back on topic, my inventory tool of choice is a database using OpenOffice's "Base". It's similar to Access, except IMHO it's much easier and more intuitive.

Saints Fan John

Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room.

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Posted by SPSOT fan on Tuesday, October 01, 2019 9:08 AM

I use Google Sheets for my roster. I like it because I can access it on any computer, anywhere, provided there is internet access. It is very simlar to Excel but a bit more basic.

Regards, Isaac

I model my railroad and you model yours! I model my way and you model yours!

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Posted by mobilman44 on Tuesday, October 01, 2019 9:30 AM

As I've said before, I use Excel and have done so for 25 years or more.  It works, it can do sorts and you can make it as complicated or as simple as your abilities allow.

But here is my question......how many pieces of rolling stock do you have?  Twenty, or hundreds?  With a low count of units, are you putting together a spreadsheet(s) to help you manage your roster, or to "build a spreadsheet".

I started the Excel spreadsheets when I was at about 200 cars and 50 motor units, and eventually got up to over 650 cars and 70 units.  That certainly made the spreadsheets worthwhile to track all the variables (i.e. road, type, year, color, repairs needed, etc., etc.).

But here is the bugaboo about all this........no matter what format you use, how simple or detailed it is, it just doesn't mean a thing if you don't keep it maintained.  I learned that the hard way when I downsized to 250 cars and 40 motor units.   

 

 

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

Living in southeast Texas, modeling the "postwar" Santa Fe and Illinois Central 

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Posted by doctorwayne on Tuesday, October 01, 2019 11:40 AM

mobilman44
....But here is the bugaboo about all this........no matter what format you use, how simple or detailed it is, it just doesn't mean a thing if you don't keep it maintained. I learned that the hard way when I downsized to 250 cars and 40 motor units.

I've listed every locomotive and piece of rolling stock in my Excel inventory, but when I backdated my layout, selling-off most of my too-modern stuff, I kept those items lettered for my free-lanced roads on the list, noting them as "Sold".  This was to avoid duplicating any car numbers, as more may eventually be sold.

The "too modern" stuff lettered for real railroads was removed from the imventory, as will be any now on the list if they're sold.

Wayne

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Posted by Drumguy on Thursday, October 10, 2019 9:33 PM

For those keeping an inventory for insurance purposes: I’m not an insurance expert by any stretch, but in my experience, any “extra stuff” in your home requires a rider. Be it jewelry (thankfully my wife hates the stuff), original artwork, a $10k bubinga drumkit, or a model railroad. From what I understand, a bunch of pictures or an excel sheet of stuff won’t get you a dime beyond your Home Contents coverage, unless you have a rider to cover it. As always, correct me if I’m wrong, just dont want anyone to have an unpleasant surprise if the crap hits the radial blade thingy.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, October 10, 2019 10:20 PM

Drumguy
....a bunch of pictures or an excel sheet of stuff won’t get you a dime beyond your Home Contents coverage, unless you have a rider to cover it....

I believe that you're correct.  I made my inventory list to simplify disposal of my trains after I take that last train ride.  Insurance was not even thought of, as pretty-well none of it can be replaced anyways, making it difficult to value insurance-wise.

Wayne

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  • From: Staten Island NY
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Posted by joe323 on Friday, October 11, 2019 8:23 AM

Brammy

I use an Excel sheet (Well, numbers on my Mac). I track reporting marks, type, manufacturer and how many of them I have. I put a small grey dot sticker on the botton of the car to show I entered it.

 

I also use a sheet to track how often I run certain locomotives and the train type, but that's a different level of geekery.

 

I never got the hang of Numbers since I "”grew up” in a Windows environmental.  I have excel for Mac.

Joe Staten Island West 

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