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Model Railroad Collector Wiki - What's New

Update #14 - September 10, 2022

Need to get started again ? - Follow these simple steps.

  •  Click on the My Collections menu option and then create one or more empty collections for items you own and optionally an empty collection to contain your Want List.
  •  Click on the Model Train Directory menu option, select a category and, using the Search box, search for an item you own by typing in a model number or other identifier of the model (road number, railway company etc).  If you cannot locate it in any category then you will need to add it to the database.
  •  Click on the row containing your item.
  •  Click on the Collections menu button and then select the collection you wish to add the item to
  •  You have now added an item to your collection.  Repeat...

The MRC Wiki in numbers....

Many thanks to all of the contributors to the public database.  It has seen considerable growth since the beginning of the year and with currently more than 26,000 registered unique items and more than 65,000 images in the photo galleries we are on track to reach 30,000 items by the end of 2022.  The user base has grown to nearly 600 registered collectors who have added more than 22,000 items to the 600+ personal collections in the Wiki repository.  The diversity of the MRC Wiki project is demonstrated by the fact that we have users from 45 different countries.  Model railroading is definitely an international hobby.

MRC Wiki statistics 2022-09









The MRC Wiki is a constantly evolving model railroad collecting database and therefore new features and bug fixes are added regularly based mainly off of user suggestions (and complaints).

A full list of updates since December 2021 can be found below

Update log

12/2021 - Update Year Introduced selector to include future year 120 days before end of current year. (allows adding items yet to be released)
01/2022 - Add sorting of thumbnail images in Owned collection
01/2022 - Search panes and Search builder updates for Spanish and German versions
01/2022 - Category translation fixes
01/2022 - Bug fix - Currency formatting error that saved currency amounts in Spanish and German 10x higher than correct.
01/2022 - Added UPC column to user collections
01/2022 - Update screen refresh after adding or updating items in Directory
01/2022 - Fix paging immediately after collection item update.  Now refresh does NOT take you back to page 1.
02/2022 - Security patch applied.
02/2022 - Added new column to Directory - Quantity of items in all collections.  Find out how many other of the same items are in other collectors collections.
02/2022 - Update column sorting for Directory list
02/2022 - Pagination control updated
02/2022 - Consist feature added
02/2022 - Add consist sharing via URL copy function on btn click
03/2022 - Add paging to public Consists list
05/2022 - Intl date format fixes for non localized languages (collection preferences)
05/2022 - Date Received and Date Ordered updates on collection Item edit form
05/2022 - Bug fix for custom item collection properties for German and Spanish versions.
05/2022 - Global railway administrator created (custom role for advanced users)
05/2022 - Page length defaults standardized for locations, origins, service types and price history sources
06/2022 - Directory item form field dropdown lists for railway companies and prototypes updated to include embedded search.
07/2022 - Auditing log added to Directory items.  Visualize what was updated, when, and by whom.
08/2022 - Consists - Added "Can assemble?" checkbox to register a completed train in your collection.

The main new feature (added in February) was the Consists.  In a nutshell the Consists feature allows you to build complete trains (Consists) using items from the public database.  You also have the ability to share your consist creation publicly with other users.  In this manner collectors can consult the list and search for ideas for building complete trains.  If you have not yet played with this functionality please have a look in the "Consists" section and create your own in the "My Consists" section.

MRC WIki Consists














Current popular features to explore:

Marketplace - Want to sell something from your collection?  The MRC Wiki has a free Marketplace where you can post For Sale listings.  Consult the user guide for the simple instructions on how to mark a collection item so that it shows in the Marketplace.
Collection sharing - Easily share the contents of one or more of your collections (owned collections or Want Lists) privately with any other MRC Wiki user.  See the user guide for instructions.

FAQs - Commonly asked questions...

        Q: I just uploaded an image.  Why doesn't it appear immediately in the Directory
        A: Thumbnail images are moderated.  Once a photo is uploaded one of the photo administrators will resize and optimize it for display in the Directory.  You may use the uploaded image immediately though (no moderation required) in any of your personal collections.
        Q: Why can't I add this record? I get an error when trying to add a new item to the database
        A: The most common reason is that you cannot add a duplicate.  Always search for the record in the appropriate category and make sure it doesn't exist before adding to database.  
        Q: What constitutes a duplicate item?
        A: Any item with the same manufacturer, scale, item number and version number in the same category group is considered a duplicate.  You can, however, register the same item in more than one category.

        Q: I have my collection currently in a spreadsheet (such as Microsoft Excel).  Is there an import function to get me started?
        A: The MRC Wiki does have a utility to help with importing from a spreadsheet.  The utility is not really user friendly nor is it 100% successful in importing from a spreadsheet.  If the majority of your items are Marklin then you might expect maybe 50-60% of your list could be imported.  If you have several hundred items then this is a possible consideration.  Please contact me via the Contact page if you are interested in experimenting with the importer and I can provide more details.

        Q: How can I help the MRC Wiki project?
        A: The Wiki is entirely supported by it's contributors.  If you can please contribute by adding new items to the Directory database and update existing items to provide the most accurate data for all to take advantage of.

Update #13 - November 25, 2021

  • Easier entry of currency values for collection items (cost, worth value).  Values entered now are self-formatting depending on the currency chosen for your collection.

MRC WIki Currency entry











  • Custom properties - Collection item properties are custom characteristics about an item in your collection.  Each property consists of two fields in a simple two column table list - the Property field name and the Description field. The Item Properties list allows you to create custom properties for any data that you wish to register for your item if there is NOT an applicable field for it already in the collection item form.  The collection item form already contains the most common fields necessary for registry of an item in one's collection, but occasionally you might want to register additional data that doesn't 'fit' in the existing fields.  As an example - Imagine that you wanted to register the type of decoder in one of your digital locomotives.  There is no field in the collection item form for registering this information.  With the custom properties, however, you could create a new item whose Property type would be 'Decoder' and whose description would be 'Marklin MFX' or 'ESU LokSound 5' etc.  As another example - Perhaps you wanted to register your item's date of production impression visible on the original box flap.  In this case you could create a new item whose Property would be 'Date of Manufacture' and whose Description would be '1987-October'.  The possibilities are unlimited.

    With regards to Property Types you have two options for creating them.  (1) You can create them 'on the fly' by selecting the '<< Not in list - add new >>' option from the Collection Item Property Editor pop-up window that opens after clicking 'New' in the Item Properties section of the collection item edit form OR (2) You can use the new Collection Item Property list found under the Preferences menu tab.  Here you can globally manage all of your custom property types - add new ones, update or delete existing ones.

    MRC Wiki Collection Item custom properties





  • Consists - This feature allows you to register complete trains assemblies.   Click on the main menu Consists options to see a list of some of the possibilities, then create and share your own by building them in your "My Consists" section.

    MRC Wiki - Consists













  • Search Builder - A new search functionality has been added to your personal collections.  Configure the "Search Builder" to provide very granular filters on your collections.  Choose for example to see all of your 4-axle freight cars from the DB in Era III.  The options are only restricted by your imagination.  Try it out when viewing one of your collections by clicking on the Filter option.  The Search Builder has also been added to the Marketplace to help find that next item for your collection.

MRC Wiki - Search Builder














  • Database updates

    The Wiki Directory database is the heart of the Model Railroad Collector Wiki web application.  All user collections use the Directory to reference an item in Directory.  In 2021 the Directory database has continued to grow with thousands of individual contributions from the Wiki users.  Here are some statistics to provide an overview of the public model railroad database at this moment.  

    MRC Wiki - 2021 Statistics







A very encouraging revelation in the statistic is the number of new items added to the database.  Last year there were nearly 4,600 new items added and this year there have been more than 7,000 and there is still another month left in 2021.  Many thanks for all of your contributions.  The photo gallery image collection has now surpassed 50,000 images.  Most items have a small thumbnail and a larger rendition of the same image, but even taking that into consideration there are at least 25,000 unique images of models.

  • Collection data backup - As we approach the end of 2021 I would like to remind all users to backup their collections for archival purposes.  You can backup your collection(s) at any time, but it is always good to make a copy at least once a year.  To backup a collection simply click on one in your collection list, click "View" to show the list of items in the collection and then click on "Export" -> "Excel" to output the entire contents of that collection into a spreadsheet.  Repeat this process for all collection you have created.  It should not take more than a few minutes to backup all of your collections.
  • Marketplace - Just a reminder that the Wiki Marketplace is open.  Here you can search for items that you are looking to add to your collection and post items from your collection that you wish to sell.  To advertise an item for sale simply locate that item in your collection, open the Edit form for the item and expand the "Selling" section.  

    MRC Wiki - Marketplace 1



















In the Selling section check the checkboxes labeled "Is for sale ?" and "For Sale item is Public ?".  Add an optional selling price if desired.  Then save the record and it will appear in the Marketplace listings.

MRC Wiki - Marketplace 2














  • Review of the Model Railroad Collector Wiki on YouTube
  • Marklin collector and YouTube video author "The 3rd Rail" has recently released a video containing a very detailed introduction to the MRC Wiki web application and how it fits into his collection management "helpers" toolset.  Based in the UK, the 3rd Rail video productions are very informative and entertaining.  Check out his review of the Wiki here and while you're there check out the other videos he has produced.  Subscribe to his channel to get notified of newly produced content.  Highly recommended.

Update #12 - February 12, 2021

It has been almost 5 months since the last "Wiki" newsletter so I'd like to bring those registered users up to date on the Model Railroad Collector Wiki project's latest news.

2020 sees a more than 300% increase in new Wiki database items and collections compared to 2019.

With the repeated lockdowns and home isolations due to the pandemic many model railroad collectors used their idle time to organize their collections.  Note in the table below that in comparison with 2019 there was a three fold increase in the number of items added to the MRC Wiki database and items added to personal collections in 2020.  Thanks to all those collectors that added new items as each new item enriched the master database and made it that much easier for new collectors to build up their own collections.  181 collectors registered on the Wiki in 2020 and they created more than 200 personal collections containing more than 6,000 articles.  Nearly 20,000 new images were added to the Wiki photo galleries increasing the total number of model railroad related images to over 34,000.

Wiki Statistics


MRC Wiki receives award for best "experimental" website

How do you classify a free website with a crowd-sourced public database ? The judges at the annual DNN convention categorized it as "experimental" and their votes earned the Wiki a first place award.  There was no financial compensation for the win, but the bragging rights are priceless...

DNN Website Award

















User Guide available in Spanish and German

Many thanks to Wiki users Javier E. and Kristian B. who translated the recently created User Guide into Spanish and German respectively.  Many thanks for donating your bilingual experience to help others and enrich the Wiki ecosystem.  The User Guides may be downloaded directly from the English, German and Spanish Wiki homepages.  

Noteable contributions

A special callout in this newsletter to two users who have made recent standout contributions to the Wiki project - 

Antonio M. completed registering more than 2,000 Marklin refrigerated cars (ie #4415 type beer cars) and is currently registering #4680 wagons.
Dwight L. is taking on the task of registering a large number of Z-Scale (Mini Club) models.
At least 6 other collectors have made 100 or more new item contributions during the past 6 months.  Thanks to everyone who has contributed.

Collection Spreadsheet Importer undergoing beta trials

A number of collectors have asked why the Wiki project doesn't have an import process that allows them to quickly ingest their collection lists from a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet into the Wiki.  We now have an import tool that we are currently testing. If you would like to participate in testing please enter in contact with me and I will provide more detailed information.  Early tests look very promising and allow matching of spreadsheet items with those same items in the database.  The process is not perfect, but expect a 60-75% percent success rate for most Marklin standard catalog items after about 1990.  There are 4 fields columns that must match the database columns -manufacturer, scale, article number and version/variant number.  We will have a blog post with more details coming soon. 

Feature updates and bug fixes.

- 6 New tutorial videos created. - See all the videos here on the Wiki YouTube page - 

MRC Wiki YouTube Tutorials







- Jump to page directly by entering page number instead of clicking on arrows repeated times

MRC Wiki - Jump to page











- Series, Set Contents, and Functions fields localized by language (no longer share the same field)

- Advanced Search picker support added for "In Collection" and "In Want List"  

MRC WIki - Advanced Search - In collection / In Want List














- Graphical bar graph display of years an item was or is in production

MRC Wiki - Production Years







- Bug fix - Prevent saving a new or edited record if sub-category is empty (not selected)

- Add in context sensitive pop-up help to form fields for Directory and Collection item details.  Help text is pulled directly from User Guide.

MRC Wiki Context sensitive help


















- Add sorting by database items without images (click on images column header to activate)

- Beta trials for Excel file importer underway

- Bug fix - Alphabetically sort list of collections in pop-up collection list

- Set default table view in Directory to show manufacturer logo and hide production years.  (Can still be enabled via Column visibility buttons)

- Bug fix - correct broken rendering of German and Spanish translations containing double quotes.

Update #11 - September 19, 2020

The Wiki User Guide has finally been published to help both existing Wiki users and newbies understand some of the basic features of the application.  Download your English language copy here:

Wiki User Guide Download (click here)

Plans are underway to translate the User Guide into German and Spanish.

A few of the project highlights so far this year in the Wiki application include:

    • Jan 2020 - Full translation of MRC Wiki website into Spanish
    • Jan 2020 - Bug fixes for back/return button, Firefox rendering issue and international number formatting
    • Feb 2020 - Bug fix for saving records in non-USA time zones
    • Mar 2020 - Collection improvement - Allow registration of more than one original box/packaging.
    • Mar 2020 - Collections list improvement - Included column for collection owner's name (useful with Shared collections)
    • Apr 2020 - Worldwide eBay search fixed and redeployed.
    • Apr 2020 - Bug fixes for filtering, and sorting withing Want Lists and Shared Collections
    • May 2020 - "Associations"  (this item is like this other item) - feature set implemented.
    • May 2020 - Launch of Advanced Search to Directory database(see user guide for explanation)
    • Jun 2020 - Collection Photo Gallery launch (see all photos of a collection at once)
    • Jun 2020 - Improved display of Eras all in one column.
    • Jun 2020 - Launch of Advanced Search with user collections.
    • Aug 2020 - Added ability to share a link to an internal database page.  "Link Sharing"

There has been a good amount of community contributions to the Model Railroad Directory database so far this year. The numbers continue to grow thanks to all the collectors that help improve the Wiki project.  A few statistics on changes since January of this year...

Model Railroad Collector Wiki - Statistics Sept 2020
2,914 New items added to the Directory database (Total of 11,398)
7,720 Directory database records have been updated
15,368 Images added to the Wiki photo galleries
126 New user collectors registrations.
147 New collections created.

Special shoutout thanks to Antonio M / Heinz B / Dave C / Will F and  Peter F. - Each has contributed large groups of new items to the Driectory database in various categories.

The Directory database still contains a majority of Marklin European items, but recently there has been an influx of items from other manufacturers. A number of Fleischmann, Roco, Bemo and Trix items have been added recently that are sure to help any collector that owns items from these manufacturers.

Do you collect beer cars ?  Thanks to an initiative by Antonio M. there are now more than 1,000 different Marklin model 4415's with photos and searchable descriptions in the database. Find yours and add them to your collections.

Did you know that the Wiki has a free Marketplace where you can post items for sale and look for items to buy?  Recently several collectors reached out to let me know that they sold several items from their collection due to their listing in the Marketplace.

Collection sharing has started to gain more momentum this year. This feature of the Wiki allows you to privately share one of more of your collections with any other Wiki user. This is a great way to share your Want List or privately share a For Sale collection with another user. The possibilities are endless with this feature.  Check out how to share a collection in the User Guide.

Update #10 - November 28, 2019

One of the joys of model railroading is that our hobby is truly international.  Because of the MRC Wiki project I have had the opportunity to correspond with MRR collectors from all over the world - expanding both my knowledge of model railroading and my understanding of other cultures. Currently the Wiki project has registered users from the 28 countries listed below.  Since the MRC Wiki database contains mostly European (Marklin) items it is no surprise that the majority of users are from Europe, but there are also representatives from South America and Asia. 

Model Railroad Collector Wiki - Countries with users
Australia Austria Belgium Bolivia
Canada Chile Denmark Finland
France Germany  Greece Hungary
Iceland Ireland Italy Mexico
Netherlands New Zealand Norway Portugal
South Africa Spain Sweden Thailand
Turkey Ukraine United Kingdom United States

While it is a joy to welcome model railroaders from all over the world, this internationalization raises a number of challenges from an application development point of view.  How to create an application that is useful for users that speak languages other than English?  The MRC Wiki launched nearly 2 years ago supporting both the English and German languages.  It is possible to add additional languages to the Wiki, but the time investment would be severe and dependent upon others donating a significant amount of translation time.  One of our Spanish collector users recently reached out to me and pointed out that the date formats in the Wiki were in the American style for anyone using the English version of the application.  Clearly few, if any, European collectors NOT using the German version of the Wiki, were satisfied using the formatting of dates in the US style (month/day/year).

With that challenge in mind I have created a solution, much simpler than would be required to add all new localized text, and added a new Wiki configuration that allows the registered collector to format the dates in their collection BASED ON THE LANGUAGE and DATE FORMAT of their choosing.  This customization now includes language specific calendars as well with day of week and month names displayed in the language selected.


Localized calendar

In addition to choosing the language for the rendering of dates the collector has the option of choosing any one of four (4) possible display options.  There are two abbreviated date options and two expanded date format options that may include the day of week and month names in their favorite language.

While is it not possible to completely localize all of the display text in the Wiki into all possible languages, the addition of custom date formats should provide a useful feature to all those collectors that wish for more relevant date fields in their collection lists.

To use this new feature follow these steps.  Samples are shown for the Greek language.

1) Log into your Wiki account.
2) Navigate to the "My Collections" / "Meine Sammlungen" page.
3) Click on the row containing the collection you wish to customize.  The row will become highlighted letting you know that it has been selected.
4) Click on the "Edit" / "Bearbeiten" button in the table button bar area.
5) The "Edit collection" / "Bearbeiten Sammlung" form will appear.
6) Using the dropdown selector select the "Language for dates" / "Sprache für Datumsangaben" and set your preferred language from the 75 different languages available.

Language Selector

7) Once the language has be selected then, using the dropdown selector for the "Date format" / "Datumsformat", select one of 4 different formats available for the chosen language.  The two abbreviated date formats at the top may appear to be the same, but the difference is that the first option will display months and days with a leading zero when applicable.  Example January 5th will appear as "01/05" or "05/01" (European format) rather than "1/5" or "5/1".  This difference will only be apparent in dates that contain months represented by only one digit.


8) Click the "Update" / "Aktualisierung" button.
9) Repeate steps 3-8 for any additional collections you have (including Want Lists / excluding Shared Collections)

When viewing and or exporting collections the three date fields - order date, received date and appraisal date will be rendered in the language and format selected.  The created on and modified on dates will be rendered in the language chosen, but the format is fixed.

Localized dates

Column sorting continues to be maintained regardless of the language and formats selected.  Click the column header once to sort the column dates in ascending order, click it again to sort in descending order.

Update #9 - August 23, 2019

Item Maintenance - New functionality has been added to convert the collection Maintenance list from a simple list of completed maintenance tasks on a locomotive or car in a personal collection to a full blown Task List that includes TO DO tasks as well as already completed ones.  To access this new functionality start by selecting an item to which you wish to attach a task.  Click on the row of the item desired to enable the "Item Maintenace" button (identified with an icon of a "wrench").  See image below for location of  the button. 

MRC Wiki - Menu button - Item Maintenance

Next click on the "Item Maintenance" button and a new table will open.  You will see a list of previously attached tasks OR an empty table if no task has previously been created for the item.   If you have existing tasks then you will notice the "Status" checkbox in the first column of the table.  An unchecked box indicates that the task is in TO DO status and a checked box indicates that the task has been completed.  See image below for a visual explanation.

MRC Wiki - Maintenance List Form

To add a new task start by clicking on the "NEW" button.  A simple form containing 4 fields will open. 

  1. Service Type - The first field, called "Service Type" is a dropdown list.  If this is the first time your are using the Maintenance List then the Service Type dropdown list will be empty.  To add new items select the dropdown option called "<< Not in list - add new >>".  Selecting this option will pop up a small window which will allow you to create your own Service Task type.  Enter the name in the text field and click "Save" to register your new custom type or Cancel to return to the Service Log form.  See example below.
    MRC Wiki - Add new Service task window
    It is not uncommon to have many different custom service types.  Below are some suggestions.  Feel free to copy some of these or create your own.
    MRC Wiki - Maintenance form
  2. Service Date - Use the calendar selector to select the date that the task was completed or, in the case of a TO DO task, the date by which you want to perform the task.
  3. Notes - Use this field to enter any supplemental information that you need related to the task.
  4. Status - Select either "Completed" or "To Do" from the dropdown list to indicate if the task has been complete or is scheduled for some time in the future.  In this manner you may schedule future necessary service on a needy locomotive - perhaps, for example, to indicate that you need to add or replace a decoder, or change the tires or brushes.  See below:
    MRC Wiki - Maintenance task list Status types


Task List -   To complement this new task status functionality a collection menu feature has been added called "Task List".  The Task List summarizes in list form all of the completed tasks within a collection as well as all of the TO DO tasks.    The Task List can be filtered by Completed or To Do items, sorted by date or type of task or service to perform, and, like all other lists in the Wiki, may be printed out for reference on your workbench. To access the Task List first make sure that no item is selected (highlighted) in your collection list.  The new "Task List" menu button appears in the button bar as shown in the image below.

MRC Wiki - Task List

Click on the "Task List" button and you will be presented with a list containing ALL of your tasks, both completed and TO DO for the selected collection.  Once the list is displayed you may filter (using the Search box), sort (click on a column header), Edit (click on a row and then click the Edit button) or Print the Task List.  TIP:  When a TO DO task is completed simply edit the task record  - change the Status dropdown to "Completed" and update the Service date to the actual date that the task was completed. 

Task List

Update #8 - April 27, 2019

Several updates to report on the latest progress for the Model Railroad Collector Wiki project. Big performance improvements and updated eBay searches highlight this month's updates.

A few highlights of recent changes include:

Calendars - It was brought to my attention that the calendar date pickers (used in personal collections for setting the "ordered on", "acquisition" and "sold" dates) had some anomalies especially with the international (German) version. All date pickers in the Wiki have been upgraded.

Date rendering in Directory and Collections - The formatting of dates in the Directory and Collection lists were not always consistent, nor correct - especially when viewed with the German version of the Wiki. Renderings now correctly reflect the English or German localization of date formatting.

Checkbox columns indicating if item is "In Collection ?" or "In Want List ?" - Now adding an item from the Directory to one of your Collections or Want List immediately updates these columns thus allowing a quick check if you have an item already in one of your collections or have flagged it as "Wanted".

Performance tweaks - Extensive reworking was done to the common processes of adding new records to the Wiki Directory and to User Collections as well as editing these same lists. Adding or updating records is now significantly quicker even when using slower internet connections.

Price History list - The Price History list (used to record the date and price items sell for) now supports entering dates and displaying them correctly in both the English and German versions of the Wiki. Previously there were issues choosing and rendering the dates.

User Collections - Moving items from one collection to another - Bug fix to correctly allow easily moving an item from a Want List to another collection or vice versa.

Multiple column sorting - Now clicking on a column header in either the Directory or a Collection will intelligently sort on multiple columns. It is now possible to do custom sorting on multiple columns simply by sorting on one column as usual (by clicking the column header title) and then holding down the SHIFT key and clicking on another column header with your mouse.

Adding New Directory items - Smart defaults - Prior to adding a new item to the Directory many users have discovered that preselecting a similar item, opening it for editing, and then immediately closing the edit form, will save those details and then PREPOPULATE the form fields with that item when creating a new entry in the Directory. This not only saves a considerable amount of effort when entering details for the new item (only change the fields that are different), it also ensures consistency when creating the same items with different versions. The update in the April release prepopulates the Railway company and prototype class from the previously selected item.

EBay Global search improvements - 1 - Custom search keywords You may now enter your own keywords for a custom eBay seach. The text box will prepopulate with the manufacturer name and article number that was selected when opening up a new eBay search, but you may change the keyword text to anything you like. The eBay search syntax is quite powerful for those users that understand the formation of search keywords and operators. It is not possible to go into detail of how this works in this forum post, but if you would like more information you can visit eBay for a technical summary of search syntax. https://developer.ebay.c...PIGuide.html#usekeywords . The important take-away is that the Wiki eBay search can now accomodate ANY custom search in the "eBay Search Keywords" textbox

EBay Global search improvements - 2 - Select if eBay search is related to Model Railroads or not While most of your eBay searches will be related to trains, the Wiki eBay search functionality has a configuration checkbox which allows a user to search for an item on eBay that is NOT related to the Model Railroad hobby - just uncheck the checkbox next to the text "Search is related to model railroads ?". Depending on the type of search you wish to do checking or unchecking this checkbox will produce more relevant results.


eBay Search Pop up editor


EBay Global search improvements - 3 - Remove duplicates The global eBay search functionality which allows a user to search for an item in all countries (previously announced) now has a feature that tries to remove duplicate items from the same seller's auction in different countries. To make this feature work registered users may now sort the list of countries according to their needs by clicking on "Preferences" in the main menu and then select "EBAY SEARCH". A new list will appear with all countries. You may then drag and drop the country names from highest to lowest priority. The settings only need to be configured once and the settings are persisted. In the event that the eBay seller posts an item to more that one country - only the country at the top of the priority list will be shown and the others will be removed. Make sure to check the checkbox "Remove duplicates from results ?" to experiment with this new feature.

Country preferences

Special thanks

Although many users have contributed several items to the public database of (mostly) Marklin trains, the MRC Wiki would like to thank collector Nic B., who single-handedly entered more than 350 items in the Wiki Directory in late March and early April covering most if not all Maerklin items from the 1980's. This is a significant milestone as it means that all collectors that own any items from this decade can easily add them to their collections in a matter of seconds WITHOUT having to register new items. If you have any items from this period or desire any for your Wish Lists then have a look (thank Nic for all his work.)

Update #7 - February 22, 2019

eBay Search - eBay continues to be the auction website of choice for most collectors of second hand trains and accessories and the Model Railroad Collector Wiki is pleased to announce support for eBay searches without leaving your Wiki collection(s) or the Model Train Directory. So how does it work? Simply select an item in one of your collections or in the MRC Directory and a newly added button to the menu bar entitled "eBay Search" will become enabled.


Clicking on this button will open a new window showing the flags for all those countries in which eBay operates their auction web platform. The MRC Wiki is proud to offer collectors  the ability to search ALL eBAY websites WORLDWIDE. Select either the globe icon to initiate a worldwide search OR select a specific country flag to only search that country's listings. If you are unsure which flag matches which country you can hover over the flag and the name of the country will appear in a pop-up helper tool tip window.



Once you select the country that you wish to search the MRC Wiki will open up a new table listing all of those eBay items currently offered for auction or fixed price sales.



As with all Wiki tabular data the eBay results may be filtered (use the search box), or sorted (click on the column header). More results, if available, may be seen by using the scroll bar on the right side of the table and/or selecting additional pages using the paging links on the bottom of the table. See attached screen shot above for sample output and the location of the controls.

Specific countries supported for targeted searches include:

  • USA
  • Germany
  • Austria
  • Australia
  • Switzerland
  • Canada (English speaking)
  • Spain
  • France
  • Belgium (French)
  • Canada (French)
  • United Kingdom
  • Hong Kong
  • Ireland
  • India
  • Italy
  • Malasia
  • Netherlands
  • Belgium (Dutch)
  • Phillipines
  • Poland
  • Singapore


A few notes

  • The worldwide search may take 10-15 seconds to return the full results from all of the countries above. Be patient for the results to appear.
  • Worldwide results include duplicates since often times sellers market worldwide. Therefore their items may appear multiple times from different countries and with different currencies.
  • Initial sorting of worldwide results is by the item's description so it is easy to identify duplicates from the same sellers
  • Clicking on the result set description will open a new window in your browser with the eBay auction item details directly from the official eBay website.
  • The searching algorithm sends the item manufacturer name and the article number to eBay. eBay then searches BOTH THE TITLE AND THE FULL DESCRIPTION in the listing and returns matches for auctions and fixed price items that include the manufacturer name and article number to the Wiki for display.
  • You will be surprised at some of the results that come back from eBay.


Full disclosure - eBay rewards those affiliates that promote their items for sale on third party websites such as the Wiki. The Model Railroad Collector Wiki has signed up for this affiliate program and should any eBay bid or "Buy it Now" winning auction originate from the "Wiki eBay Search" eBay will compensate the integrator (myself) with a small percentage of their profit from the sale. This compensation is transparent to the bidder and he or she will not pay anything in addition to the winning bid.

If you buy or browse eBay items often and would like to help support the Wiki project (aside from contributing to the public database) then please consider searching for an item from the Wiki eBay search and immediately placing a bid on an item of interest. Thanks.

Update #6 - December 22, 2018

What's New Flipping Cards - Wiki users now have the ability to view a list of flipping cards that show what new items have been added to the Wiki database (the most recent additions appear at the top of the list). If you click on a card (or tap when using a mobile phone or tablet) the card will flip over and show additional prototype and version information about the item. Additionally there is a search box that you can use to filter the results list of cards by a word or phrase. The list automatically updates when new items are added.  Below is a screen shot of what the new card module looks like.  The Flip card module can be seen in action on the Wiki homepage: Click here for English Version OR Click here for German Version

Wiki What's New Cards

Update #5 - October 26, 2018

Shared Collections ! - Wiki users now have the ability to privately share any collection with any other Wiki user. This feature is useful for private sharing of Want Lists or For Sale lists with other collector friends. The only requirement is that the collector that you wish to share with is also registered on the Wiki. Besides allowing the collector to share any collection this feature also allows for choosing which columns of collection data you wish to share. You may, for example, choose to hide the costs and or appraised values of those items in the collections you share. Shared collections can only be edited by the collection owner (not the collector with whom it is shared). Shared collections are dynamic - in other words any changes, additions or removals of items from collections that are shared are immediately visable to those users with which the collection is shared. There is no need to "Re-Share" a collection if changes are made.

Wiki Collecion SharingCollection Sharing - Choose to share

Moving items between collections - Added functionality to easily move an item from one collection to another. For example you can now move an item in one's Want List to one's Collection WITHOUT deleting it from the Want List and then having to recreate it in the Collection.
Railway Company helper - The Railway company dropdown selector list now displays the full railway company name in addition to the railway company abbreviation. Helps avoid confusion when a collector is not certain what railway the abbreviation represents.  See example below.

Railway Company

Hide export buttons - Added feature to hide all export buttons in collections. The menu button bar is now less cluttered when the Copying, Printing and Export to Excel buttons are hidden. Display these buttons now only when needed for moving data out of the Wiki and on to your local computer or mobile device.
'Sticky" menu bar - Menu bars are now "sticky". They stay in place at the top of the screen when you scroll to the bottom of a product or collection list. Avoids having to scroll all the way to the top of a list to see which column is which.
Add new motor types "on the fly" - When adding a new item to the public database a collector can now add/create a new motor type on the fly. Previously you were forced to select from a predetermined list of motor types.
Digital decoder address - New field added to collection item form to allow a collector to register the address of a digitally controlled item. Store the digital address of your modern locomotives/other digital accessories in an easy to visualize location.
Bug fixes - Numerous small bugs fixed and rendering inconsistencies resolved.

Update #4 - August 10, 2018

New manufacturers - Recently we've had a number of new item contributions to the MRC Directory (train database) from manufacturers other than Maerklin. While the Wiki Directory continues to grow with collector contributions from their Maerklin collections, we have seen new European manufacturer items added this past couple of weeks. These include Bemo, Brawa, Electrotren, HAG, Herpa, Hobbytrain, Jouef, L.S. Models, Liliput, Piko, Roco, Rowa, and Sachsen Modelle. While the quantity of items from these manufacturers is (at the moment) small, their inclusion clearly indicates the diversified tastes of those collectors using the Wiki to manage their collection, and how the Wiki can accommodate any item from any manufacturer.  

Manufacturer icon logos - Manufacturer logos have been augmented and updated (now even easier to filter, sort, and create ad-hoc reports that include manufacturer banner logos)

Non H0 Scale items - Our first non H0 scale items have recently been added ("Z" and "H0m" scale)

Photo Uploads - Thanks to several new collectors for photo uploads to the Wiki photo galleries with a special shoutout to an excellent photo set upload of "beer" wagon freight cars.

Want/Wish Lists - Want Lists/Wish Lists are now editable - Add notes, thumbnail icons, sourcing (dealer) information etc. to Want Lists, just like you can do with regular collections.

More Locomotives - The quantity of locomotives in the Wiki database has passed the 1,600 milestone. Thanks for all your contributions!

Bug Fixes - Numerous small bug fixes

Road Map - The Model Railroad Collector Wiki future roadmap plans to continue to focus on improving the quality of existing items in the database, adding new items, and augmenting the item photo galleries with more images from both scale models and prototypes. 

Update #3 - April 7, 2018

Marketplace - The first major announcement is the launching of the MRC Wiki Marketplace.  The "Marketplace" [url=][/url] is a publicly accessible list of model railroad locomotives, wagons and accessories that have been flagged as "FOR SALE" by their respective collection owners.  You are now able to list items from your private collection(s) to a public facing list from which potential and interested buyers may contact you and negotiate a deal.  The Wiki will send the name and email address of the buyer, along with a message to you for follow up.  This is a FREE service available to all registered users of the Model Railroad Collector Wiki.  I have prepared a short video on the Wiki YouTube channel demonstrating how to use the Marketplace.


Analytics - The creation of a new analytics pie graph which allows the collector to view his entire collection percentage by "Railway company".  The new graph is visible when viewing collection "Analytics".  If you have a collection in the Wiki then please check out this feature and see how useful it is for both building trains from existing collection items and discovering what might need to be added to your collection. 

Update #2 - March 2, 2018

UPC field for items - Added in an extra field to allow the registration of a product’s UPC number.  After entry of this reference number collectors will be able to look up an item by its manufacturer’s product code. Thanks to Rick Sinclair for this suggestion.

BUG FIX Menu bar dragging - Could not drag collection menu button bar on mobile devices . In addition to desktop computers, the collections menu bar now functions on both tablet and phone devices.

Image Uploader - Image Uploader added to Edit Product form – Now it is possible to upload product images directly from the image edit forms.

Item Quantities - New quantity field for collection items – A new field has been added to support the cataloging of multiples of the same item (duplicates) without requiring a separate entry for each item.  An example could be track pieces, decoders, transformers, or scenery pieces where typically you would own duplicates, each of which would not require a separate entry in one’s collection. Thanks to Will French for this suggestion.

BUG FIX – Cannot delete collection item – Fixed a bug preventing the deletion of an item in a collection.

BUG FIX – Cannot sort on manufacturer – Fixed a bug preventing the ability to sort the collection list on manufacturer.

Add Manufacturer "on the fly" -  Collectors can now add a new manufacturer to the product Directory database "on-the-fly" if it does not already exist without leaving the new item entry form.

Category Updates - Complete overhaul of Categories – The original list of categories proved to be limited and did not support popular groups that collectors require for a complete inventory.  New categories and subcategories for scenery items, model structures (buildings), and electrical items now allow granular categorization of common items.  Thanks to Dale Schultz for his suggestions and contributions.

Weight field removed - Weight field – Not sure where I got the idea that a collector wanted to track the weight of an item in his/her collection, but since this field was never used it has been removed.

Marketplace preparation - Added field “For Sale item is Public?” – In preparation for the launching of the “Wiki Marketplace” a field has been added to the collection item form to allow granular control of whether or not to publicly display the item in the For Sale list. Thanks to Javier Escribano for suggestions here.

Category drill down pie chart – The product Directory now has an interactive drill down pie chart showing the live composition of model railroad categories that make up the public railroad database.  (Soon to be released for user collections!) See below for sample chart.

[attach]43878[/attach] [size=7]Roadmap[/size] [list][*]

Roadmap (Marketplace) - Plans are underway for the rollout of the previously mentioned Wiki Marketplace – a free service where Wiki users may opt to publish items in their collection marked as “For Sale”. Potential buyers or interested parties may choose to contact the seller for more information.  This service will be FREE to all registered users of the Wiki.  Also currently under study are ways to “marry” a user’s Want List with items currently “For Sale”  We will refer to this “matchmaking” service as “Railroad Dating” (Thanks to Dimitris Grimanis for coining the term)

Roadmap (Graphs) - We will be adding additional graph elements similar to the pie chart of categories added to the Directory this past month.  These charts will provide alternative views of your collection to assist in creating train consists and help guide the collector to identify items needed or duplicates that may be sold or traded.

Update #1 - January 19, 2018

Unknown production years - Added in support for unknown manufacturer's production start and end years. (Before the update these dates were required)

Image Uploader - File uploader for images completely rebuilt (original was buggy)

Collection image thumbnail selector - Now collectors can associate any custom image they upload to the Directory to the corresponding item in their collection.

"Sticky" collection configuration settings - Custom views of collections including columns selected for viewing, custom search parameters, sorting and page length are now saved between sessions. It is no longer necessary to reset these controls each time you return to your collection.

Floating menu buttons - The menu button bar now "floats" above the list of collection items. No longer is it necessary to highlight a collection item for editing and then scroll all the way up to the top of the page to click on the Edit button - it is always in plain sight now.

Storage of part number fields - It is now possible to register common part numbers together with the details of items in the Directory database. These parts include traction tires, pickup shoes, pantographs, bulbs, brushes, front and rear couplers.

Boxed set contents field - A new field has been added so that it will be possible to list the individual items in a boxed set (Set Contents)

Functions field - A new field has been added to allow storage of digital and analog functions of the item (whistles and bells)

International currency support - (Previously announced) - All international currencies now supported. Apologies to all those collectors in countries whose currencies were previously absent. As a side note - All personal collection fields that pertain to values in any currency are 100% optional to use. Collectors are NOT REQUIRED (nor have they ever been required) to enter any costs or appraised values into the Wiki.

Some interesting statistics - Since launch 3 weeks ago there have been 115 new items added to the public Wiki Directory - contributions from 9 different collectors (many thanks for your donations)

The smallest collection has 1 item in it (obviously a test item) and the largest collection (not including my own) has over 200 items].

3 collections have over 50 items. More than 200 new images have been added to the public photo gallery.  There are 82 registered collectors representing 14 different countries

The MRC Wiki YouTube channel - now has 5 how-to videos to help with getting started. All new videos now contain narration (in English).  Visit by clicking the link below.

Model Railroad Collector Wiki You Tube Channel