THE FIRST thing that strikes you is how bright the hall is and how efficient the people are sorted out with tickets to go to the show – no more queuing and hanging around in the snow anymore like it was in Sinsheim and plenty of room to park as well. I have to point out that we had a lot of help from Jan from the organizers who understands what we are asking for with a group coming to the show, so thanks a lot for that Jan!

 When you go into the show proper, there’s one thing that is so different to the same type of show in the UK; that being children and families are made extremely welcome and it seems all of the exhibitors positively take the same attitude and make time to talk and appreciate them for making the effort to come to the show.

Also, the ticket price helps too, making the family day out not excessively expensive. Food is priced at a sensible rate and is cooked on the premises with a wide a varied selection to choose from. There was talk in the British Press that traction engines would not be allowed to travel around the show. As I said in a press release earlier, this was not going to be the case and fortunately my sources didn’t prove me wrong. In fact, everywhere you walked was a traction engine with the most unusual being the diminutive Thompson Road Steamer that steamed very efficiently and went like a rocket!

As per usual, the length of track was enormous and I believe that in 2007, the track was loaned to a show in England, as I guess that length of track is going to cost a small fortune to make. Nice to see countries working together and throughout the exhibition, there were many  

people from all over Europe in 2011, including the UK who on talking to some, decided that this place is possibly the Mecca of engineering shows as people from all over the world come here.

As I said earlier, families are made very welcome and there are two 7¼in. locomotives with countless carriages going around the perimeter all day long, and full up all of the time with I would guess about 75 to 100 on every trip and taking about 10 minutes to go around the track. You can do the maths, but that’s one hell of a lot of people to make happy.

The food is excellent and cooked on the premises and the people who serve it do it with a happy smile and a quick chat with whomever they were serving. People kept coming back for more as well, so the pricing structure was spot on and the same for the beer and drinks.

Being in Germany, there are a lot of German designed machines being shown with many scale Lanz machines working as well as a V8 that was no bigger than my fist and what a din it made when it was fired up; steam driven knitting machines making scarves and the boating lake with youngsters driving the vessels.

In fact the youngsters are a great part of the show and it obviously works, as the building of models are now going into the hands of the young. They of course want to practice their English so I got plenty of conversation too and the overwhelming thing that came across was that they also have the passion that their fathers and grandparents had for the hobby. Long may it live.


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Click here for a report on a tour from the UK