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"Rusty, (You) Can't Be Serious" is a short scene that leads into the song that introduces the coaches.

Context

In the original 1984 London production, this scene showed us a short conversation between Pearl and Rusty and the other coaches. It established that, "ages ago", Pearl had tentatively agreed to race with Rusty. But Pearl needs to see more from her partner, leading into the song "A Lotta Locomotion"

The Broadway production removed both Rusty and Pearl from the situation. This left Dinah, Ashley and Buffy asserting that Pearl should tell Rusty "no", and reflecting on what they need from an engine.

The German production introduced what became the standard introduction for many years, where Rusty has left the stage, and Pearl is doubting her commitment to race with him. This version does not specify whether Pearl had committed to racing with Rusty, or whether she was considering it. This version was first used in English for the 1989 US Tour.

the 2003 US tour did not include this short scene, instead running from the paraphrased "Call Me Rusty" directly into "Whole Lotta Locomotion".

The UK tours have this scene running into Whole Lotta Locomotion, using the version used in later London and in Germany.

The scene was largely rewritten for the 2017 workshop and, subsequently adapted for the 2018 revisions in Bochum.

Lyrics

The coaches take it in turns to finish each sentence, in the order Ashley/Buffy/Dinah, for example:

Ashley Rusty
Buffy can't
Dinah be serious

Original London 1984

The original version contains a significant plot point, that Pearl had already committed to racing with Rusty, but now was having doubts.

Coaches Rusty you can't be serious
you go in for the race?
You gotta be strong
Rusty I am Strong
Coaches not for long
You gotta have speed
Rusty I have
Coaches No you'll need it
A mixture of strength,
Of power and length
If you're gonna have pull where it counts
Rusty But Pearl you said you'd go with me
Pearl That was ages ago!
I have to feel more
Coaches We have to feel more
we need to be certain
we need to be sure
Pearl I have to feel more
Coaches We have to feel more
we need to be certain
we need to be sure

Broadway 1987

The Broadway production had Pearl leave with Rusty at the end of "Call Me Rusty", consequently "A Lotta Locomotion" was sung between Dinah, Buffy and Ashley.

Coaches Rusty? He can't be serious.
Him go in for the race?
You gotta be strong
Rusty's strong
Not for long
You gotta have speed
Which he don't
What you need is
A mixture of strength,
Of power and length
If you're gonna have pull where it counts
Pearl's a fool to go with him
She should tell him no!
There's gotta be more
You gotta feel more
You gotta be certain
You gotta be sure
There's gotta be more
You gotta feel more
You gotta be certain
You gotta be sure

German Lyrics 1988

The German arrangement, featuring all four coaches but without Rusty, became the standard used in most following productions.

Starlight Express and Locomotion - Steven Skeels German TV 1988

Starlight Express and Locomotion - Steven Skeels German TV 1988

from 2.41, this number is run into Lotta Locomotion.

Coaches Pearl / das kann / nicht wahr sein!
Er / macht mit, / ist dabei?
Ashley Man braucht sehr viel Kraft.
Buffy Hat er Kraft?
Dinah genug.
Ashley Man braucht sehr viel Mut.
Buffy Hat er nicht!
Dinah Wenn er's tut, wenn
er glaub er sei' gut,
dann braucht er viel Mut,
sonst versagt er beim Rennen sofort!
Ashley Pearl, wie kannst du mit ihm geh'n?
Pearl Was soll ich denn tun?
Dinah Man braucht so viel mehr!
Ashley Du brauchst so viel mehr!
Coaches Bist du dir ganz sicher?
Du brauchst so viel mehr!
Pearl Ich brauche viel mehr?
Coaches Wir brauchen viel mehr!
Wir sind uns ganz sicher,
wir brauchen viel mehr!

US Tour 1989 / London 1992

The most common version, used in the later London show as well as recent UK Tours.

A Lotta Locomotion - US Tour 1989

A Lotta Locomotion - US Tour 1989

Coaches Rusty / can't / be serious
Him / go in / for the race?
Ashley You gotta be strong
Buffy Rusty's Strong
Dinah not for long
Ashley You gotta have speed
Buffy Which he don't
Dinah What you need is
A mixture of strength,
Of power and length
If you're gonna have pull where it counts
Ashley You're a fool to go with him
Pearl Should I tell him no?
I have to feel more
Coaches We have to feel more
we need to be certain
we need to be sure
Pearl I have to feel more
Coaches We have to feel more
we need to be certain
we need to be sure

Las Vegas 1993

The Las Vegas production made a lot of cuts and trimmed down the show to the minimum. This included reducing this scene to four lines, split between the coaches.

Hey listen to the one man band
Rusty, you don't understand!
You'll be nowhere, you'll be last
You ain't going nowhere fast

Workshop 2017

Control Control! Control! Listen up. Rusty, go and get the coaches from the marshalling yard. Now!
Coaches Rusty cannot be serious

Him go in for the race?

(Coach) You gotta be strong
Pearl Rusty's strong
(Coach) Not for long!
(Coach) You gotta have speed
(Coach) Which he don't
What you need is

A mixture of strength,

Of power and length

If you're gonna have pull where it counts

(Coach) You're a fool to go with him
Pearl Should I tell him no?
Greaseball So who are you? You're brand new
Pearl I'm a first-class car.
Greaseball Well woo hoo hoo!

Where have you been hiding?

Pearl In the siding, now riding on the mainline train line, but not with you
Greaseball Well woo hoo hoo!
Dinah That's Pearl

She's a brand new girl

And if you mess with her

You're messing with me

Greaseball Dinah, get back in the kitchen.
Dinah Incapable of feeding yourself, Greaseball?
National Engines Dining car, go and make the tea.
Belle Hey don't talk like that.
(National Engine) Hey listen to the sleeper

Are you her keeper?

Turnov A sleeper's not a keeper

She's a one-night blind date

Greaseball Blind date's are never great
Tassita Ssh!
(National Engine) What's that noise?
Belle She's the quiet coach

Keep your noise down, boys

Tassita Ssh!

Take a walk with the talk

I'm so quiet

(National Engine) Does she think she's Bjork?
Dinah If you mess with her

You're messing with me

National Engines Quit whining, dining car

Go and make the tea

We're leaders of the pack

You bring up the rear

Greaseball Without us, you ain't going nowhere.
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