Computerized Freightcar Inventory Database Programs


Shawn Beckert
 

List,

At the Sunshine Models meet at Buena Park this weekend,
Ted Culotta did a presentation on "Computers in Modeling".
One of the subjects he touched on was using a computer
database program to make an inventory of the freightcars
in our collections, showing a variety of useful information.

The poor guy was harassed unmercifully when it became obvious
how many cars in his fleet were still in unbuilt condition,
though nobody else dared say their closet looked any different!

A question for the listmembers: Ted is solidly a Macintosh user;
are there any PC-based inventory programs out there that could
be used to construct a database of our freightcar fleets? I'd
like to know about the more "user-friendly" programs; I'm not
that concerned about cost at the moment.

Thanks,

Shawn Beckert


Brian Paul Ehni <behni@...>
 

What does Ted use?

I'm a Mac user, and currently use Excel for this, though FileMakerPro (for
both Macs and PCs) would work. While I don't do so, you can even insert a
photo of the item in your spreadsheet (or database for that matter).
--
Thanks!

Brian Ehni

From: "Beckert, Shawn" <shawn.beckert@...>
Reply-To: <STMFC@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2005 11:56:08 -0800
To: <STMFC@...>
Subject: [STMFC] Computerized Freightcar Inventory Database Programs


List,

At the Sunshine Models meet at Buena Park this weekend,
Ted Culotta did a presentation on "Computers in Modeling".
One of the subjects he touched on was using a computer
database program to make an inventory of the freightcars
in our collections, showing a variety of useful information.

The poor guy was harassed unmercifully when it became obvious
how many cars in his fleet were still in unbuilt condition,
though nobody else dared say their closet looked any different!

A question for the listmembers: Ted is solidly a Macintosh user;
are there any PC-based inventory programs out there that could
be used to construct a database of our freightcar fleets? I'd
like to know about the more "user-friendly" programs; I'm not
that concerned about cost at the moment.

Thanks,

Shawn Beckert


Garth Groff <ggg9y@...>
 

Shawn,

You'd be better off buying a Mac. ;-)

Kind regards,


Garth G. Groff

Beckert, Shawn wrote:

List,

At the Sunshine Models meet at Buena Park this weekend,
Ted Culotta did a presentation on "Computers in Modeling".
One of the subjects he touched on was using a computer
database program to make an inventory of the freightcars
in our collections, showing a variety of useful information.

The poor guy was harassed unmercifully when it became obvious
how many cars in his fleet were still in unbuilt condition,
though nobody else dared say their closet looked any different!

A question for the listmembers: Ted is solidly a Macintosh user;
are there any PC-based inventory programs out there that could
be used to construct a database of our freightcar fleets? I'd
like to know about the more "user-friendly" programs; I'm not
that concerned about cost at the moment.

Thanks,

Shawn Beckert


Bob Webber <zephyr1@...>
 

You use what is comfortable to you. I use Excel. I have used programs made for inventory, the problem with them is that once you buy them, you are stuck in a sense because they seldom live long - and as other things progress they don't and eventually you have to reenter your data. Which I've had to do with my books at least 4 times because of this - the proprietary software "died" (that is, didn't get a new version to meet the new OS and I had to get something that would work with the new OS and then that one didn't and so on) so now I work on programs that don't have that issue - or shouldn't.

It's easy enough for people to cast stones, but the easy response to that is that at least Ted is up there providing material so that they can get their stuff out of boxes. And then there are the articles, books and sessions people give. Answers in forums like this. It all eats at your time. Add to that the time spent with various Historical Societies and pretty soon more and more kits are in the hopper waiting to be built. It's easy to throw stones when all you do is build and model on your own and are the recipient of others' work.

And naturally, those same people don't show their appreciation for those who provide their time at such gatherings, or lists, who write articles or books - and while I'm at it - thanks to all!

At 02:10 PM 3/7/2005, you wrote:

What does Ted use?

I'm a Mac user, and currently use Excel for this, though FileMakerPro (for
both Macs and PCs) would work. While I don't do so, you can even insert a
photo of the item in your spreadsheet (or database for that matter).
--
Thanks!

Brian Ehni


From: "Beckert, Shawn" <shawn.beckert@...>
Reply-To: <STMFC@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2005 11:56:08 -0800
To: <STMFC@...>
Subject: [STMFC] Computerized Freightcar Inventory Database Programs


List,

At the Sunshine Models meet at Buena Park this weekend,
Ted Culotta did a presentation on "Computers in Modeling".
One of the subjects he touched on was using a computer
database program to make an inventory of the freightcars
in our collections, showing a variety of useful information.

The poor guy was harassed unmercifully when it became obvious
how many cars in his fleet were still in unbuilt condition,
though nobody else dared say their closet looked any different!

A question for the listmembers: Ted is solidly a Macintosh user;
are there any PC-based inventory programs out there that could
be used to construct a database of our freightcar fleets? I'd
like to know about the more "user-friendly" programs; I'm not
that concerned about cost at the moment.

Thanks,

Shawn Beckert


Jim Scott
 

Shawn,

I am a PC user and also use EXCEL to list all my
inventory. I have an overall inventory and then list
each category (Freight, Passenger, Steam, Diesel,
etc.). I then have each sbucategory listed with in
the major category. Works well for me...

Jim Scott
Lompoc, CA.

--- Brian Paul Ehni <behni@...> wrote:
What does Ted use?

I'm a Mac user, and currently use Excel for this,
though FileMakerPro (for
both Macs and PCs) would work. While I don't do so,
you can even insert a
photo of the item in your spreadsheet (or database
for that matter).
--
Thanks!

Brian Ehni


From: "Beckert, Shawn" <shawn.beckert@...>
Reply-To: <STMFC@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2005 11:56:08 -0800
To: <STMFC@...>
Subject: [STMFC] Computerized Freightcar Inventory
Database Programs


List,

At the Sunshine Models meet at Buena Park this
weekend,
Ted Culotta did a presentation on "Computers in
Modeling".
One of the subjects he touched on was using a
computer
database program to make an inventory of the
freightcars
in our collections, showing a variety of useful
information.

The poor guy was harassed unmercifully when it
became obvious
how many cars in his fleet were still in unbuilt
condition,
though nobody else dared say their closet looked
any different!

A question for the listmembers: Ted is solidly a
Macintosh user;
are there any PC-based inventory programs out
there that could
be used to construct a database of our freightcar
fleets? I'd
like to know about the more "user-friendly"
programs; I'm not
that concerned about cost at the moment.

Thanks,

Shawn Beckert



test'; ">




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Celebrate Yahoo!'s 10th Birthday!
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Doug Brown <brown194@...>
 

First thing is to figure out what data we would want to collect. A form
or forms would best for entry. I use an Excel spread sheet to record my
collection. I work directly with the spread sheet. Using forms would be
much safer. I'm not familiar with commercial collection data bases.

Doug Brown

-----Original Message-----
From: Beckert, Shawn [mailto:Shawn.Beckert@...]
Sent: Monday, March 07, 2005 1:56 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Computerized Freightcar Inventory Database Programs


List,

At the Sunshine Models meet at Buena Park this weekend,
Ted Culotta did a presentation on "Computers in Modeling".
One of the subjects he touched on was using a computer
database program to make an inventory of the freightcars
in our collections, showing a variety of useful information.

The poor guy was harassed unmercifully when it became obvious
how many cars in his fleet were still in unbuilt condition,
though nobody else dared say their closet looked any different!

A question for the listmembers: Ted is solidly a Macintosh user;
are there any PC-based inventory programs out there that could
be used to construct a database of our freightcar fleets? I'd
like to know about the more "user-friendly" programs; I'm not
that concerned about cost at the moment.

Thanks,

Shawn Beckert


Andy Miller <asmiller@...>
 

I can add my name to the growing list of people who use Excel for their
rolling stock data base. I maintain three Excel spreadsheets; one for
freight cars, one for passenger cars and one for motive power.

The Freight Car data base has a separate "sheet" with the labeled bottom tab
for each type of freight car. A Summary sheet appear as the first tab and
has all the totals carried forward.

Since I belong to two clubs, I record which club each car is stored at, and
whether it is on loan to the club for op session or stored in my storage
space. I also record the total number of PRR cars for each type. Yes, I am
an SPF.

If anyone is interested I can forward you my inventory. Its probably too
big to belabor the whole group with.


regards,

Andy Miller

-----Original Message-----
From: Beckert, Shawn [mailto:Shawn.Beckert@...]
Sent: Monday, March 07, 2005 2:56 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Computerized Freightcar Inventory Database Programs


List,

At the Sunshine Models meet at Buena Park this weekend, Ted Culotta did a
presentation on "Computers in Modeling".
One of the subjects he touched on was using a computer database program to
make an inventory of the freightcars in our collections, showing a variety
of useful information.

The poor guy was harassed unmercifully when it became obvious how many cars
in his fleet were still in unbuilt condition, though nobody else dared say
their closet looked any different!

A question for the listmembers: Ted is solidly a Macintosh user; are there
any PC-based inventory programs out there that could be used to construct a
database of our freightcar fleets? I'd like to know about the more
"user-friendly" programs; I'm not that concerned about cost at the moment.

Thanks,

Shawn Beckert


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Shawn Beckert
 

Andy Miller wrote:

I can add my name to the growing list of people who use Excel for their
rolling stock data base. I maintain three Excel spreadsheets; one for
freight cars, one for passenger cars and one for motive power.
I don't remember the name of the software Ted was using to construct his
data base (once he said it was Mac-based, I kind of zoned out), but I
do know that it wasn't Excel. It was much cleaner looking, and he had
quite a bit of information in it. One thing he was able to do was organize
cars by AAR designation (XM, XAP, etc.) and assign them accordingly to trains
and even industries. Now *that* is a feature I can put to good use.

Ted's out-of-state at the moment, but hopefully he'll be at Winterail next
weekend and I can pick his brains a bit more on the software he's using.

Shawn Beckert


fuchst900
 

Andy, I would be interested is seeing what you are doing. I use Excel everyday at work and at home as well, for vehicle maint records. I am curious of how you are applying the program. Thanks, Steve Fuchs

Andy Miller <asmiller@...> wrote:I can add my name to the growing list of people who use Excel for their
rolling stock data base. I maintain three Excel spreadsheets; one for
freight cars, one for passenger cars and one for motive power.

The Freight Car data base has a separate "sheet" with the labeled bottom tab
for each type of freight car. A Summary sheet appear as the first tab and
has all the totals carried forward.

Since I belong to two clubs, I record which club each car is stored at, and
whether it is on loan to the club for op session or stored in my storage
space. I also record the total number of PRR cars for each type. Yes, I am
an SPF.

If anyone is interested I can forward you my inventory. Its probably too
big to belabor the whole group with.


regards,

Andy Miller

-----Original Message-----
From: Beckert, Shawn [mailto:Shawn.Beckert@...]
Sent: Monday, March 07, 2005 2:56 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Computerized Freightcar Inventory Database Programs


List,

At the Sunshine Models meet at Buena Park this weekend, Ted Culotta did a
presentation on "Computers in Modeling".
One of the subjects he touched on was using a computer database program to
make an inventory of the freightcars in our collections, showing a variety
of useful information.

The poor guy was harassed unmercifully when it became obvious how many cars
in his fleet were still in unbuilt condition, though nobody else dared say
their closet looked any different!

A question for the listmembers: Ted is solidly a Macintosh user; are there
any PC-based inventory programs out there that could be used to construct a
database of our freightcar fleets? I'd like to know about the more
"user-friendly" programs; I'm not that concerned about cost at the moment.

Thanks,

Shawn Beckert


------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor --------------------~--> Help
save the life of a child. Support St. Jude Children's Research Hospital's
'Thanks & Giving.'
http://us.click.yahoo.com/6iY7fA/5WnJAA/Y3ZIAA/9MtolB/TM
--------------------------------------------------------------------~->


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James F. Brewer <jfbrewer@...>
 

Shawn,

I use ProTrak, an operations program to generate switchlists, etc. for my model railroad. Of course, part of the set-up is the inventory of equipment. There are separate screens for freight cars, passenger cars, locomotives. You can sort by roadname, AAR class. In addition, there is an Inventory feature that allows you to enter specific kit information (mfg., part no., paint and decal info, etc.)

You can download a free demo version of the program at www.protrak.cc

I believe that you can enter your own freight car data in the demo program and save it. Might be all that you need. You can also "play" with the demo program for operations.

I have the lifetime version and it has been years since I looked at the older demo program (you couldn't add your freight cars in the older version). So I'm not really up on the demo, but you might find it helpful.

Best wishes.

Jim Brewer
Glenwood MD

----- Original Message -----
From: "Beckert, Shawn" <shawn.beckert@...>
To: <STMFC@...>
Sent: Monday, March 07, 2005 2:56 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Computerized Freightcar Inventory Database Programs



List,

At the Sunshine Models meet at Buena Park this weekend,
Ted Culotta did a presentation on "Computers in Modeling".
One of the subjects he touched on was using a computer
database program to make an inventory of the freightcars
in our collections, showing a variety of useful information.

The poor guy was harassed unmercifully when it became obvious
how many cars in his fleet were still in unbuilt condition,
though nobody else dared say their closet looked any different!

A question for the listmembers: Ted is solidly a Macintosh user;
are there any PC-based inventory programs out there that could
be used to construct a database of our freightcar fleets? I'd
like to know about the more "user-friendly" programs; I'm not
that concerned about cost at the moment.

Thanks,

Shawn Beckert




Yahoo! Groups Links








Lee Gautreaux
 

I use MS Excel for a large number of applications. It is VERY easy
to use, very powerful and is availible for both PC and MAC. It can
be setup to serve as a database, but it does have some limitations
in this application. Microsoft also offers an actuall database
program called Access that is MUCH more powerful than Excel for that
sort of application. It does have a steep learning curve, but it
may be what you are looking for. It is usually bundled with MS
Office Pro, but it is availible alone.

Lee A. Gautreaux - The RailGoat
http://www.railgoat.railfan.net/



Andy Miller wrote:

I can add my name to the growing list of people who use Excel
for their
rolling stock data base. I maintain three Excel spreadsheets;
one for
freight cars, one for passenger cars and one for motive power.
I don't remember the name of the software Ted was using to
construct his
data base (once he said it was Mac-based, I kind of zoned out),
but I
do know that it wasn't Excel. It was much cleaner looking, and he
had
quite a bit of information in it. One thing he was able to do was
organize
cars by AAR designation (XM, XAP, etc.) and assign them
accordingly to trains
and even industries. Now *that* is a feature I can put to good use.

Ted's out-of-state at the moment, but hopefully he'll be at
Winterail next
weekend and I can pick his brains a bit more on the software he's
using.

Shawn Beckert


Jim and Lisa Hayes <jimandlisa97225@...>
 

Some years ago I wrote my own inventory system in MS Access. It includes car
inventory, parts inventory, what detail parts were used on each car, and a
some other things. I also use it to keep track of purchases (what I bought
where and when) and what's in my reference library. It does require some
knowledge of Access to use though.

Jim Hayes
Portland Oregon


Brian Paul Ehni <behni@...>
 

Sounding more and more like FileMaker; it's really a great product, and IS
cross-platform.

Or maybe you should just get a Mac! 8^)
--

Brian Ehni

From: "Beckert, Shawn" <shawn.beckert@...>
Reply-To: <STMFC@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2005 14:57:27 -0800
To: <STMFC@...>
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Computerized Freightcar Inventory Database Programs


Andy Miller wrote:

I can add my name to the growing list of people who use Excel for their
rolling stock data base. I maintain three Excel spreadsheets; one for
freight cars, one for passenger cars and one for motive power.
I don't remember the name of the software Ted was using to construct his
data base (once he said it was Mac-based, I kind of zoned out), but I
do know that it wasn't Excel. It was much cleaner looking, and he had
quite a bit of information in it. One thing he was able to do was organize
cars by AAR designation (XM, XAP, etc.) and assign them accordingly to trains
and even industries. Now *that* is a feature I can put to good use.

Ted's out-of-state at the moment, but hopefully he'll be at Winterail next
weekend and I can pick his brains a bit more on the software he's using.

Shawn Beckert




Yahoo! Groups Links







vgnry <vgnry212@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., "Beckert, Shawn" <shawn.beckert@d...> wrote:

Ted's out-of-state at the moment, but hopefully he'll be at
Winterail next
weekend and I can pick his brains a bit more on the software he's using.
Shawn, I have used RailBase from Albion Software for a number of years
to maintain a database of my freight car fleet. If you don't want to
build your own database with Access or Excel, take a look at it. It is
for model railroads or collectors. It runs on a PC platform, is
stable, and has good customer support. While it doesn't have every
single thing one might want, it has more data fields than I use. And
it has separate data files for cars, locos and cabooses.

Bill McClure
Richmond


Steve Sandifer <jssand@...>
 

You can use nearly any computer program these days to do this. I started mine in the MSWorks database years ago. However you could do the same thing in Excel or even in Word using the tables, but that is less flexible. Before you start, you need to decide the fields you want to include. When actually listing them, you don't want to have to look at every car several times. My fields include:

a.. Cat(egory): Pass, Frt, NonRev, MOW, (whatever you want)
b.. Grade: A-F. Grade A is a contest model. Grade C may be a car that is in non-prototype paint or a club car or an old Athearn. Grade F is on my RIP track but I want to keep up with it. As I get more Grade A and B cars, the grade C, D, & F cars should fear for their ebay lives.
c.. State: RTR, Kit, RIP
d.. Notes: resin car, wrong number, Rework as NC&StL prototype, replace brake staff, save for kitbash, etc.
e.. Mfg: Athearn, Roundhouse, P2K, etc.
f.. Mfg #: Mfg model # not the car #
g.. Type: Gondola
h.. Sub-type: War Emergency Mill gon
i.. Class: GA-61
j.. Blt: built year stenciled on car
k.. Rebld: Last date stenciled on car
l.. ID: reporting marks
m.. #: car number
n.. Length:
o.. Doors: 6', 8', Dbl, end
p.. Billboard: Chief, Super Chief, etc.
q.. Paint: color scheme
r.. Return to: For my layout, where the empty car needs to go empty for interchange
Of course you can add as many as you want. A database allows you to determine what fields to print and in what order. If you have a lot of cars, it is nice to take your latest printout ot the train show to see if you already have that car and that number. If it has a value listed, it could assist your heirs in determining the value of your collection (might cause a divorce in absentia!). If you keep up with your repairs, like wheel replacement, tracking problems, detection resister installed, kadee or McHenry couplers, or even weight of the car, you can have fields for that sort of information.

If you print your own car cards, you can use this data with merge mail to print them.

One note: if you plan on using a program like RailOp for your operations, start with it as your database. It will not import from other databases and you will end up having to enter everything twice - a job begging for mistakes.

______________
J. Stephen (Steve) Sandifer
mailto:steve.sandifer@...
Home: 12027 Mulholland Drive, Meadows Place, TX 77477, 281-568-9918
Office: Southwest Central Church of Christ, 4011 W. Bellfort, Houston, TX 77025, 713-667-9417

----- Original Message -----
From: Beckert, Shawn
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Monday, March 07, 2005 1:56 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Computerized Freightcar Inventory Database Programs


List,

At the Sunshine Models meet at Buena Park this weekend,
Ted Culotta did a presentation on "Computers in Modeling".
One of the subjects he touched on was using a computer
database program to make an inventory of the freightcars
in our collections, showing a variety of useful information.

The poor guy was harassed unmercifully when it became obvious
how many cars in his fleet were still in unbuilt condition,
though nobody else dared say their closet looked any different!

A question for the listmembers: Ted is solidly a Macintosh user;
are there any PC-based inventory programs out there that could
be used to construct a database of our freightcar fleets? I'd
like to know about the more "user-friendly" programs; I'm not
that concerned about cost at the moment.

Thanks,

Shawn Beckert

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Jack Burgess <jack@...>
 

One advantage of a database program (at least the ones that I have used)
over Excel is that you can set up drop-down lists for each field. For
example, using Steve's field of Category, you can set the data base up with
pre-determined inputs for that field such as Pass, Frt, NonRev, MOW. You can
also set it up to allow for additions in case you missed something. This not
only keeps the information in each field consistent which allows for more
accurate searches, but also minimizes the typing required. Possibly this
could be done in Excel but I haven't played with it.

Jack Burgess
www.yosemitevalleyrr.com


dehusman <dehusman@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., "Jack Burgess" <jack@y...> wrote:
One advantage of a database program (at least the ones that I have
used)
over Excel is that you can set up drop-down lists for each field.
=============================
You can make Excel function almost like a database by writing VBA
macros behind the spreadsheet.

Having said that, it is way easier to just use a database and do it
right from the beginning than try and force a spreadsheet to look
like a database. Even some of the $25 el-cheapo bargain bin
databases can do a pretty good job of organizing a roster. The major
limitation I have seen with some of them is how many columns you can
sort by, how sophisticated your forms can be.

I wrote an Access 97 database for creating car cards which can be
used for inventory purposes also. Its available on the Car Cards
Yahoo group files section, in the MS Office Applications folder (I
think). You have to have Access 97 (or newer) to run it. Its free
shareware.

Dave H.


Bob Webber <zephyr1@...>
 

You can easily put drop down menus with valid values in Excel. And, given the formats you can export and import to/from Excel it's easy to put data into and out of other products that use acknowledged standards for such things.

At 10:04 PM 3/7/2005, you wrote:

One advantage of a database program (at least the ones that I have used)
over Excel is that you can set up drop-down lists for each field. For
example, using Steve's field of Category, you can set the data base up with
pre-determined inputs for that field such as Pass, Frt, NonRev, MOW. You can
also set it up to allow for additions in case you missed something. This not
only keeps the information in each field consistent which allows for more
accurate searches, but also minimizes the typing required. Possibly this
could be done in Excel but I haven't played with it.

Jack Burgess
www.yosemitevalleyrr.com


mopacfirst
 

So what do you suppose the engine is that's behind all these car
management programs and waybill programs and whatnot that are advertised?
And, no, I don't mean engine in the model railroad sense.

I use Excel for all sorts of lists of stuff, and most of the time I don't
care how pretty it is, but I can make it so if I feel like it. I don't
think most of the stuff we do is complicated enough to take real advantage
of a relational database like Access, although I put stuff into Access
when I can't do it conveniently in Excel.

If it can be described in twenty columns (fields) or less and there's a
few thousand rows or less, I'd go with Excel. And, although I have slides
listed in Excel, I don't have my freight cars there yet.

Ron Merrick

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