Olsen's Toy Train Database

I bought Olsen's CD back in June with the thought that one day they may not be around and I would hate to lose access to their online database. It's a valuable resource and saves my butt almost every time I access it.

That said, I wrote Sharon to confirm that by buying this one CD I would have access to both pre and post war info - she assured me it would. 

IMG_1244

Long story made short, the only info I can see on this CD database is pre war stuff. Has anybody else purchased the full set and actually made it work to find post war info? If you have, and don't mind spending a few minutes on the phone, give me an email shout (see my profile page) and let's exchange phone #'s and talk about what I am missing. 

Thanks - George

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Pssst! Just heard from Sharon - I emailed her to please check her website, it's been down for a few days. Just heard back this afternoon, she said, "Web site is turned off for now. Not sure what I’m going to do with it"

Sure hope I can get my CD working right!

GeoPeg posted:

Pssst! Just heard from Sharon - I emailed her to please check her website, it's been down for a few days. Just heard back this afternoon, she said, "Web site is turned off for now. Not sure what I’m going to do with it"

Sure hope I can get my CD working right!

Yikes!  Can she turn it back on!?!

Is there another online source for all of those Lionel repair manuals?

Olsen's digital and physical business operations have been flickering unreliably for a while.

So, before they disappeared for good, I downloaded their entire website for offline browsing using HTTrack, and found an alternate parts vendor for my repairs.

I also reached out to Sharon offering to curate the digital content (not the parts store) if she was no longer going to have the website turned on. She did respond and has indicated she does not have a desire to have someone else host or curate the content at this time. She did not indicate plans to continue or discontinue the website or business.

However, Sharon does not need to have a corner on this material. I would definitely be able to host and curate such a digital library. If it can be verified that there are no copyright renewals/claims on the original Lionel works and someone can donate or lend me with originals to scan (not AUROTECH or Greenberg), the library can independently be rebuilt.

When you start Olsen database program, you should see

OlsenMainMenu

If you don't, the only thing I can think of is that you have to tell Olsen's program what CD drive the Olsen CD is installed in. I you see the "File" in the upper left of the Olsen screen you get, click on file, and a box should open, click on Change CD, and you can then click on which CD drive the Olsen CD is in. See pic below

OlsenCD

Hope this helps!

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OK, here's your view on top, my view below yours:

MEDs view on his Olsen CD 1

View of my Olsens CD 1

As you can see, you have about 11 more (postwar) items at the top of the list than what I have - this would strongly indicate you have a single CD with more info that mine. Or possibly that you received two CDs from Olsens. I received only one CD, this one:

IMG_1268

So maybe this boils down to the fact that I have a different CD(s) than what you have? Would you mind commenting on that? Thanks!

George

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Steamer posted:

Hope Sharon gets the site back up. The Postwar stuff is easily found in a repair manual, but I look toOlsen's for the Prewar info. Be great if Jeff Kane would have access to that.

Considering the amount of time the Olsen's spent collecting, scanning and even creating documentation for their site (documentation Lionel didn't have), I kind of doubt they would be willing to hand it over to a competitor. Keep in mind, they probably created that huge collection with their own benefit in mind.

That said, I have seen stranger stuff happen in the world of business... 

I know since Sharon's Dad passed, it's mainly been her, if not just her running the business. It kinda sounds like she may be considering getting out of the business, at least that's my thought, so maybe selling the info would be the way to go.

Dave

 

 

 

The Standard of The World

MED posted:

I will have to find my CD to comment - which I will try to do tomorrow. I know I have a single CD, and that it is 4.1-All. I assume that All meant it included all databases.

MED, I believe you may be on to something. I'll write Sharon and see if she can clarify.

In the meantime, I thought maybe, just maybe, the installation on my computer got screwed up, so I installed the CD on another desktop and a not-much-used laptop, all three computers show only prewar stuff.

George

I haven't got to my train room yet, but I did find an Olsen's Parts List pdf file I downloaded last year, and included part of it below. Notice that there are three different CDs listed. I bought the CD library special, whereas you probably bought the CD-PRE CD. Maybe the CD was mislabeled at Sharon's end??

Olsen different CDs

I attached the full pdf file also.

One thought about the possible mislabeling - put the CD into your computers CD drive, go to the Windows file manager to look at what is installed in your CD drive - might indicate CD-PRE instead of CD-4.1.

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Really a shame their not around anymore. I live less then a mile away and have ordered parts. I remember they used to have a beautiful storefront on bonnieview with tinplate engines and cars in the window. It’s sad wings hobby shop used to be in the same building as well. They will surely be missed 

Happy Railroading! 

Bill Schmeelk posted:

With regard to Lionel’s Postwar Service Manual, the Lionel Collectors Club of America is planning a 50th Anniversary surprise in February that should resolve this issue once and for all!

Sounds VERY interesting, enticing even! Can't wait to see if it's what I think it may be!

George

Liam posted:

Really a shame their not around anymore. I live less then a mile away and have ordered parts. I remember they used to have a beautiful storefront on bonnieview with tinplate engines and cars in the window. It’s sad wings hobby shop used to be in the same building as well. They will surely be missed 

Hi Liam - that store front existed for 25 years per Sharon, but it just wasn't a viable business for whatever reasons. So they closed it down and sell online only. To the best of my knowledge, there has been no announcement saying anything about closing, just that their website is down and has been for a few days (couple of weeks?) I guess we'll just wait & see. 

In the good news department, Sharon responded the next day that she will be sending me a replacement CD - that's pretty durn good customer service!

George

  Olsen's site being accessible has been an on & off thing for years.   I wouldn't count them out till it's official.  If they let the info die, I'd be very surprised.  

  After meeting one of the family at a show, I've tried to buy from them in thanks for thier efforts in the hobby. About half a dozen times online and an equal amount of calls over about 3 years where I attempted contact, I never could get a single response. I didn't even think they were doing sales outside of old established customers, if at all. I found myself wondering if they were wholesale only now too 

  There is an underlying communication issue with them I feel must be the root of the business not being as successful as it might be.  If you don't answer the phone, return calls, or answer mail to answer questions.. what do you expect? Folks to cross fingers and write a check anyhow?   I'm glad some of you have had better luck, but in the end, I think they need to step up thier game or pass the business along.  It's thier right to put it to rest, but it doesn't make it right.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





MED posted:

I haven't got to my train room yet, but I did find an Olsen's Parts List pdf file I downloaded last year, and included part of it below. Notice that there are three different CDs listed. I bought the CD library special, whereas you probably bought the CD-PRE CD. Maybe the CD was mislabeled at Sharon's end??

Olsen different CDs

I attached the full pdf file also.

One thought about the possible mislabeling - put the CD into your computers CD drive, go to the Windows file manager to look at what is installed in your CD drive - might indicate CD-PRE instead of CD-4.1.

Well sure enough, right in front of my eyes the whole time!

I just didn't catch the "_PRE" hanging off the end of BD-RE Drive (F 4.1_PRE

CaptureSee it?

So this must have been a mislabeled CD, cuz it sure doesn't say that on the label!

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LiamAdriatic


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