Inventory software is a great idea for several reasons. It can help avoid buying duplicates, keeps an accurate want list, forms the basis for insurance valuations, keeps track of where your items are at and their condition. The following is a survey of model train inventory software. If you know of others, please add it in the comments below.
All Aboard Data Express by Tayden Design – “A new, innovative database software that was specially designed for Model Railroaders! This new inventory software is based on recent database technology, especially for model railroad equipment!” Adobe pdf Data Sheet. Tayden also offers separate programs to track maintenance, simulate layout operations and inventory literature and documents. Dowload or CD from retailers. USD: $30 includes 2 years of upgrades, OS Windows XP, Vista & 7.
Easy Model Railroad Inventory by RCL Software, Inc. - “is designed to inventory all of your model railroad rolling stock, locomotives and cars, the structures, electronic equipment, book collection . . . there are many ways to view, query, report, and graph . . . functions to operate your railroad using a variety of methods” General specs page. This EMRI is a complete, integrated solution. It tracks the locos, cars, MOW, including DCC info, structures, books, videos tools and does operations. Tip: turn on Maintance History for an item by checking the “Do Maintenance Check” box under the Routing/Operations tab. Update announcements and tutorials at MRH blog. Download USD: FREE – Donationware, OS: Windows. Current version 6.0 dated October 2012.
MiTrains by ShenSoft – “an inventory program specifically for model railroaders and rail fans. One that eased the burden of typing wherever possible” Includes database of N-scale Micro-Trains series. MiTrains is highly customizable and regularly updated. Integrates with Waybills program for switching and operations. Download – USD: $50. OS: Windows, Vista & Win7 with MS patch. Current version 6.5.0 dated March 2011.
RailFanExpress- ”An easy way to keep an accurate record of your entire model railroad inventory. Catalog every item, with its cost and even include a photo. The numerous report options make Railfan Express excellent for insurance purposes.” USD: $20. OS: Win95 to WinXP. Not compatible with Win7. Current version 5.1 dated July 2009. Website down Aug 24, 2011. Version 5.0, description and reviews available at download.com.
RRTrains 2000 – “is a small program used to create a detailed inventory of your model railroad collection.” USD: FREE. OS: Win95 to Vista. Win7 unstated. Current version 2.7 dated July 2004.
SofTrack – “is the easiest to use and most complete solution for managing your collection of railroad equipment. It is designed for use on Macintosh or Windows computers with Filemaker Pro®.” USD: $60, OS: Mac OSX and WinXP, also requires Filemaker Pro database. Current version 2.0 has can be run without Filemaker Pro. As of October 2012, this software is no longer available. They are providing support and updates for the Apple Lion OS.
TrackMyTrains – “is a comprehensive database system designed especially for model railroading enthusiasts and collectors. Our subscribers keep their collection databases on our website with complete control over how it is organized and who can see their information.” USD: $30/year, Web Application.
TrainMinder – has optional paid modules adding Lionel and American Flyer images, data and prices. Price data is updated with eBay and other pricing. USD: $40-85, OS: Win98 to Win7. Current version and last update unknown.
TrainTracker - offers very extensive optional modules including, MTH, K-Line, Pre, Post and Modern Lionel and American Flyer data. USD: $29-130, OS: Win98 to WinXP. Vista and Win7 not stated as working. Latest version 5.5 last update not stated.
YardOffice -Tracks motive and rolling stock with custom notes, photos and DCC codes. Registered version allows printing of labels and reports. Free limited version or registerd USD: $27 w/ 1 year updates. OS: Win98 and up. Also works in iMac Windows partition. Latest version 3.08 dated August 2009.
In the comments that follow, I have made some suggestions and expressed some personal opinions. However, my likes and dislikes should not scare you off from looking at all the software. From looking over the software, I think all of the inventory programs are good. There are two programs that are no longer supported. One, the website is down, the other is supported, but no longer providing updates. I would choose a program that is currently supported and verify it has not been years since the last update.
Much of this is personal taste, interests and the look and feel of the software and your tastes are probably different than mine. Please use this post as a starting point, do the research and then pick out a couple of programs to try out, most offer a demo. Actually entering some of your collection into the programs will tell you if they do everything you need and want and if you like how the program operates and if it works well on your computer, operating system and printer.