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How To Upload Custom Icons To The Central Station 2

The Märklin Central Station 2 allows you to upload your own customized locomotive icons. This is particular handy when you have a model from another manufacturer or where you simply do not have a suitable icon. In this article I will show you how to upload a custom icon.

A model train
A customized icon of the 110 487, "The Mouse Show Train".

Customized icons can be a fun addition to the models you store in the Central Station 2. I like to make icons for every model that I have - including the ones that are from other manufacturers than Trix. Normally you can find an icon in the CS2 that looks like your model, but I think it is more fun if the icon represents the actual class and paint scheme of my model.

You have two options for adding icons to the Central Station 2:

  • Via an USB stick
  • Via the Central Station 2 website

Using An USB Stick

Note: This procedure is verified with Central Station 2 version 4.1.0 (3). If you have an older version, this guide may not comply. In that case, you should update your Central Station 2 before proceeding.
If you are adding a lot of icons, you might find it easiest to use an USB stick. This way you can add all of your icons in one single take.
If you have not already done so, you must create an USB stick for use with the Central Station 2.
  1. On the USB stick, you put your new icons in the "CS2\import\icons" folder.
  2. Plug the USB stick into the Central Station 2.
  3. Go to the Setup-page and hit the Network button.
  4. A standard check for updates is now performed. During this process the icons will be imported.
Note: Because the import of icons from an USB stick is performed as part of a regular check for updates. Your Central Station 2 must be connected to the Internet during the import. Just like you do, when you normally check for software updates. If you do not connect it, the update will fail.
Note USB update-user: If you normally update your Central Station 2 using files downloaded manually from the Märklin website (also known as "USB update"), you need to add these update files to the root folder of your USB stick. To start the import, click the USB-stick button instead of the Network button. Once again: Do NOT do this, if you previously updated via the Internet.
Caution: If you normally update your Central Station 2 via the Internet, please continue to do so. If you import icons using the USB-stick button and the files downloaded from the Märklin website, your Central Station 2 will be downgraded to that version. My recommendation is to always update your Central Station 2 via the Internet. This will give you the latest version at any time.

Using The Central Station 2 Website

Note: This procedure is verified with Central Station 2 version 4.1.0 (3). If you have an older version, this guide may not comply. In that case, you should update your Central Station 2 before proceeding.
A recent software update made it possible to upload customized icons using the CS2 web interface. This is a much easier and less troublesome way than the previous method.
First of all, you need to connect your CS2 to your local area network (LAN). You do this by connecting the CS2 to your router, you might need a long cable or you might move your CS2 closer to your router. The CS2 does not need to be connected to the LAN all the time, so you can move it out of your train room for the purpose of uploading the icons. Aftwards disconnect it from the LAN and carry it back to the train room. My CS2 is normally not connected to the LAN because the router is too far away from it.
To find the ip-adress of the CS2 go to the setup page and click the wrenge button to enter configuration mode. Then find the page named "IP". You will find the IP-adress here. If the CS2 for some reason does not have a valid IP-adress, click the DHCP button to pull one from the network.

A model train
You can find the IP address on the IP page in the CS2 Configuration Section.

When you have the IP address in place, open up your favourite internet browser and type in the address in the location bar and browse to the Märklin Central Station 2 web interface. Here you select the "icons" tab.

A model train

On the icons page you scroll, past all the pre-installed icons, to the very bottom of the screen. Here you will find the upload section. Click on the "Browse..." button to pick a file and upload it to the CS2.

A model train
Clicking the browse button will let you upload icons to the CS2 icon folder.

That's it! You're ready to use your newly uploaded custom icon.

Note: The icon file may not be larger than 6 KB. I use PNG 8 bit with a transparency colour set. That way I can create beautiful icons that looks awesome on the CS. I normally use the manufacturer's picture of the model instead of my own. The manufacturers normally take pictures of each model from the same angle and distance. Using their pictures I get a consistent look of my icons.

Tip! Icons must be 128 x 48 pixles. If you scale and crop the manufacturer's promotional photos of the model, you can usually create a great looking icon.

I use Adobe Photoshop for my icon-work, but lesser expensive products will also get the job done. If you are unsure about bit rates, transparency colours and so on, simply just crop and scale the manufacturers photo.

I think custom icons adds to the overall finish of the digital setup and if you give it a try, I think you will be happy with the result.

Happy modelling!