A Lotta Locomotion

A Lotta Locomotion

"A Lotta Locomotion" is the girlie quartet from the musical show Starlight Express. It is used as the introduction of Pearl the Observation Car, Dinah the Dining Car, Buffy the Buffet Car and Ashley the Smoking Car. The show is about toy railway locomotives and cars who race each other to become the world champion. In this number, the girls discuss how they are all looking for a locomotive (boyfriend) strong enough to pull them in the train races.Prior to the main number, the girls sing a couple of lines to Pearl, telling her not to race with Rusty the steamer, because he is slow and falling to bits. Pearl later regrets believing them in the love song, Only You, or in some productions, Next Time You Fall In Love.On Broadway it was performed only by Dinah, Buffy and Ashley.


The music was composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The song was in D major in the London and Bochum productions.

It follows a very simple chord structure, which is just repeated over and over, with the tune changing over the top. The only verse that differs in accompliment is Pearl's verse.

There was some speculation over the tune, as it is very similar to the chorus of a number named 'Goodbye Seattle'.


The lyrics were originally by British lyricist Richard Stilgoe, but David Yazbek from the US re-wrote the newer verion for the US tour.

The London Lyrics;

;A Lotta Locomotion;That's what we need;From a locomotive who can take the lead;From the eastern ocean;To the western sea;Locomotion's gonna carry me


The song is split into sections - the most commonly used being the following:

*Verse 1 - Coaches with solo line from Pearl
*Verse 2 - Coaches
*Verse 3 - Dinah and Buffy introductions
*Verse 4 - Ashley introduction
*Verse 5 - Coaches
*Verse 6 - Pearl introduction
*Verse 7 - Coaches with solo lines from Ashley

On Broadway, Pearl was completely cut from this nuber, making her entrance with Rusty in Engine of Love. Instead, Buffy had an extended introduction.

In the London production, Ashley made the first introduction and Dinah the third.

Alternate Verions

'ne Lok Mit Locomotion

This is the German version, translating as 'A Locomotive With Locomtion'. A thirty-second sample can be heard on the Bochum site.

The German version;;'ne Lok mit Locomotion;Wünsch ich mir;Einen Zug, der uns bewegt, den brauchen wir';Ganz egal wohin er mit uns fahren will;Locomotion bring uns schnell ans Ziel

A Whole Lotta Locomotion

This song replaced the original in the US tour. Their introductions came before the song, and were rapped, rather than sung. The song was also used in the UK tour, which was almost mirrored exactly from the it's US predecessor.The verse went;

;I got style, I got grace;Got a smile on my face;And a heart that is filled with devotion;Coz a girl can't get where a girl's gotta get;Unless she's got A Whole Lotta Locomotion;A Lotta power, a Lotta speed;A little hook-up, that's what I need

The song was refurbished to suit the 1993 Vegas girl's costumes, probably to give them a more 'modern pop-star' style to reach younger male audiences.



*Original London Cast Recording - Stephanie Lawrence, Frances Ruffelle, Nancy Wood & Chrissy Wickham (1984)
*Bochum Cast Recording - Maria Jane Hyde,Natalie Howard, Carol Hoffman & Roslyn Howell (1988)
*Bochum Live Recording - Lovette George, Laurie Sheppard, Aiko Nakasone & Johanne Simpson (1989)
*Expresso Astral - Maru Dueñas, Alejandra Murga, Lilia Sixtos & Diana Navarro
*Australia Cast Recording - Nikki Belsher, Debbie Wake, Charlotte Avery & Erin Lordan

Non-show related

*Trish Zurbrigg

A Whole Lotta Locomotion

No recording has been made of "A Whole Lotta Locomotion" as of yet.


* [http://www.starlightexpress.de Starlight Express]
* [http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVn4NmfgrY0 'ne Lok Mit Locomotion] at YouTube

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