The Railtex Awards dinner is one of two opportunities to network and, frankly, have a good time that are available to exhibitors and guests at this year’s show.

The first is the Networking Reception at the end of the opening day, during which exhibitors can meet old acquaintances and new colleagues as well as those visitors who have stayed on. Everyone will have a relaxing time, there is usually a jazz trio or similar, and it’s a great way to network.

The following night is a more formal occasion – the Railtex Awards dinner, sponsored this year by Rail Media. Over the road from the show itself in the Hilton Metropole Hotel, exhibitors, visitors and their guests will gather for an evening of entertainment, dinner and – you guessed it – more networking. That will start at the drinks reception, hosted this year by Quattro, and carry on throughout the night.

There will be music as well. Singer-songwriter Harriet McDonnell will play during the drinks reception. During the meal, there will be live background piano music from Mark Bettis featuring swing from the 1920s right through to current day.

Oh – and look out for the Jelly Baby Express!

Over coffee, Rod Woodward, one of the fastest-rising comics in Britain, will be drawing the laughs and getting the audience into a cheerful mood ready for the climax of the evening.

There will also be a sense of anticipation as the time for the awards presentations draws close. A host of companies have entered nine categories – one has over 80 entries alone – so competition will be fierce. The nine winners will be congratulated by Roy Walker, former host of the TV show Catchphrase.

After the formal session is over, the winners will want to celebrate, the losers will need to cheer themselves up, so it will be time for more music as the Smooth Criminals play until midnight.

So come along for a great evening, it’s only £90 a place so easily affordable, and celebrate what’s best about Railtex and our industry. Then on Thursday, look out for the awards being proudly displayed on nine stands around the show. Full marks if you spot them all!

To attend the Railtex Awards dinner you don’t have to be an exhibitor – all are welcome! Tickets are £90 +vat and available online from