Ooops. Mea maxima culpa.
ISO 8859-1, also known as "Latin-1" is the standard for encoding
characters outside the ASCII set but in common use in Western
(European) countries. Like the a with two dots over it in "Märklin".
The "=E4" part is the hex code of that character in the Latin-1 table.
If you were to look in some other table you might find that =E4 was
some Cyrillic, Korean or other "exotic" non-English letter.
Co-incidentally: In Germany the convention for writing "ae" instead of
"ä" is common. In Norway (and Denmark, I think) they have a composite
"ae" as a single char but in Swedish it is always just the a with the
two dots over it. We also have an a with a ring over it and an o with
two dots. In German, the "ä" and "ö" are sorted with "a" and "o" and
are considered mere variants of these, but we consider ours as
completely separate vowels and place them last in the alphabet,
But I don't think it matters on this group unless somebody finds some
example of them being used in some train designation. :-)
I'll stop putting "ä" in the titles of my postings.