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I'm planning a database of my various rolling stock (HO, N, & O) and trying to think of all the column heading I should add (purchase date, new/used/ manufacturer, seller, type, dcc/dc, etc.). Has anyone here done this and can recommend the types of data (column headings) to keep?
 

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I think you need to have clarity in your own mind of why you are creating the inventory. That will inform what data you want to include. For a simple inventory I track the following. Model number, description, condition, quantity, current value, amount paid, original retail price, purchase date and year of manufacture. Each manufacturer is in its own inventory data base in my system.
However for collection purposes there are many other things to track if this a "collection." Take for example the common 633 boxcar made by Gilbert. Some have diecast frames, some sheet metal, there are four coupler variations, some 633's are red plastic, some are red painted, some are tuscan painted some are white plastic with tuscan roofs, some have trucks with two springs, some have three springs, a few 633's are actually reefers and are rare. If you are a variation collector all that and more will be important to keep track of somewhere. I put these things in the description field but then it is not searchable.
 

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I don't keep any such database, so take this with a grain of salt. I think you first need to figure out what you plan to do with the database once you have it. Do you want to use it to keep track of what you've invested? Then you certainly want to keep track of purchase cost, date purchased, manufacturer, etc. as you've already noted. If it were me, I'd make sure to include Road Name, car number, car type, and the modeled date of manufacture. Perhaps also car payload content. I think those attributes would help you to assemble realistic trains.
 

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Factory car weight & current car weight. Any upgrades done (couplers, wheelsets, trucks) and brand.
 

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Yes, I agree with Mark, if you want to keep track of what's appropriate for your layout date, record any date on the car, NEW, BLT, RPKD, etc. It's a little bit rivet-counting, but many folks like to keep these details correct, not that difficult. IMO
 

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I'll jump on that bandwagon: it's your database. Why are you making it? What will it help you keep track of? What information is important to you? If you take 15 minutes and think about why you're undertaking this project, I think the answer will become obvious.

The other thing is that you're not paying someone to develop this in a commercial software application, are you? Use something you have and know: Excel, Access, etc. Then it won't be a big deal to add it later if you remember something else you want to include.
 

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The only model railroad-related DB I put together was a simple "locomotive roster", so I'd have a record of each purchase, when bought, how much I spent, and what kind of dcc decoder is in each one. The latter certainly helps if one needs to change any programming!
 

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If you create a database of your loco/car roster, you could add a few
details for each that you could use to create switching orders.

For that you would want to have in your data:

Locos: Model, such as FA, GP30, etc.
Road Name Might also include color scheme
Road number

Cars: Type, such as Box, Gondola, Flat, Passenger, etc.
Road name
Road number
Color(s)
Any other obvious things, such as 'log load', Gravel load, etc.

Print out a 'car card' on stock, for each loco and car in your roster.
You can then use 'Post it" notes with instructions for a
switching operation. The 'car cards' would be permanent
and the 'Post its' one time use.

I had a similar system that made switching operations more
life like and fun. This is especially true if you have relatives
or buds over for switching operations. Make a game of it.
Time to complete, moves to complete, etc.

Don
 

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Or better yet just spend $19.95 and its all setup for you....

Tracker Ten for Trains
All new, designed for Windows 7, 8 and 10
A complete inventory system for your model train collection.
Tracker Ten for Trains is a complete windows inventory system that will help you get your Model Train collection organised fast. The software features advanced reporting, graph generation, item history tracking, customizable data fields, rich text format notes, data export, a powerful search engine, cost and value tracking (based on values you enter yourself) and an innovative summary view integrated with internet searching. The software can also generate full color reports, incorporating images; great for accurate insurance record keeping and automatic catalogue generation. The software is ideal for both business and personal use.

I am no spokesman for these people nor do I own a copy because I could careless about any such database. I did recall seeing this recently on eBay. It sounds like a winner for someone wanting to have a database of their train collection.

 

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I'm planning a database of my various rolling stock (HO, N, & O) and trying to think of all the column heading I should add (purchase date, new/used/ manufacturer, seller, type, dcc/dc, etc.). Has anyone here done this and can recommend the types of data (column headings) to keep?
Hi I have used Yard office this is a great database to use you can have as much or as little information you want
 
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