Famous words indeed, but having spent a couple of days in this amazing city I feel like a convert. The wide open spaces in the Tiergarten occupied by hordes of happy tourists. The busy abundance of cyclists. The multitude of (marathon) runners going through their final warm-up runs before the big day of the Berlin Marathon. All of these added together to create a real sense of a city that’s full of life and energy.

My calling was on behalf of engineering solutions business L.B. Foster Europe. And what a calling; the opportunity to attend the world’s largest rail supply exhibition, Innotrans. The sheer scale of the show was staggering; hall upon hall of exhibitors all focused on the rail sector. Those more enterprising (German) visitors brought their own scooters to speed the transition between halls; those less enterprising were left in need of a foot spa each evening.

Gaining the attention of the press at the show demanded walking the halls to track them down and persuade them to experience for themselves the brave new world that L.B. Foster presented at the show. Editors from Rail Engineer and Railway Gazette International kindly made time to pop on to the stand and once captured, we shared the new vision of the business, as well as its enhanced engineering capability.

A first for someone who has attended many trade shows was the scale of after show, on stand partying that took place. Post 17.00, the exhibition stands transformed into sophisticated customer entertainment environments, with live bands, cocktail bars and beer kegs vying for the attention of the captive audience.

But the overriding memory of the show is the sight of full-size trains, including carriages, parked in their scores outside the exhibitor halls. It was every trainspotter’s dream; up close and personal with rolling stock and a whole lot more. Roll on Innotrans 2018.