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prrjim posted:

Your definition of "everything" and mine might be different!     I could send you mine but you have to know a little about excell to use it.    I would need to strip it down, so the pages are not so big.    Let me know via email.

I'm  also interested in an excel template to inventory my o gauge trains, accessories etc. 



Understand that Excel is not a relational database program, and that is what you really need to do this. It’s not the right tool for the job.

A simple list of items can be built in Excel, but it is impossible to get any meaningful reports out of Excel. There are other, vastly superior database programs out there that work better and are easier to use.

Download and try the Yard Office program that Patrick1544 posted. MUCH better than anything you’ll find built in Excel.

Last edited by Rich Melvin

For those of you with programs that will only run under older versions of some operating system, please know that you can run that older system in a Virtual Machine (VM) running under the latest operating systems.  A VM is, essentially, another computer running in the memory of your current (real / touch it) computer which still allows you to save your data to your real hard drive or SSD.  Windows XP and other older versions of Windows can still be found on the internet and can be used for short periods of time in your VM of choice.  You should also be able to install working programs like TrainTracker within your VM.

The only drawback to this is you must start all over with installing the software in your VM when the time limit runs out.  But your data is still safe on your hard drive or SSD if you save it properly.


Last edited by PRR1950

I agree with Rich about the advantages of a Database program over spreadsheet software. 

But what I don't like are these dedicated database programs that go undeveloped for years and no longer work with modern computers & operating systems. This is why spreadsheet programs like Excel are popular because they never really go obsolete, not mention these programs are cheap. Heck, I was able to import my dad's train inventory spreadsheet he did on SuperCalc 4 back in the early 80's into Excel 2019!

Now if someone has an inventory program that was developed with MS Access (and even better, can be run with the FREE runtime version of Access), I think you would have the best of both worlds. MS Access isn't going away anytime soon and you have your inventory in a much more usable database format.

Last edited by H1000

Hi Guys,

Trainz Auctions offers a free online inventory program that ties into their database, so you get pictures, description and even auctioned value range.  I like that you can download it to Excel so you always have a backup.  I've bought stuff from them and you can automatically add those items to you inventory.  It's functional for my needs. I hope that helps,


One of the problems of software in our hobby including inventory, track planning, signaling, etc. is that many of these products are the work of a single person.  As long as that person stays involved these products grow and improve with time and are supported.  Sometimes that person gets sick or has change in life's circumstances and s/he turns away from the software and it ceases to evolve and support becomes minimum and declines over time.  Thus a program that requires Windoz XP.  The size of the market makes it tough for professional software company to have a team on it.

The idea of having an inventory  program with a database of all trains would be an enormous project requiring constant updating.   Think of the scope of the Greenberg books.  Very cool feature to have. 

Excel is not a relational database, but one can still do a lot with it.  A lot is in how it is set up.  Many people (including me at first) have a tab for engines, one for cars, etc.  This limits reporting.  Excel has a number of intrinsic database functions, such as "filter and sort", "Find Duplicates", etc.  These are designed for the master data to be in a single sheet.  Some codes are needed to allow for sorting and reporting.  Thus, if one creates a column such as "Type" with values of "Engine", "Coach", "Accessory", etc.  the database functions of Excel can do some reporting.  A column with color would allow one to answer a question such as "How many engines and coaches do I have that are red?"  One would have to do some studying of these database functions to make good use of them.  Its clunky dealing with pictures, but possible.


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