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The Entry of the National Engines introduces the engines who are competing in the Championship Race.

Context

Each engine enters in turn, either solo or accompanied by a marshall who carries their national flag and hands them their helmet if they are not already wearing it.

Control has, through the history of the show, varied between giving accurate technical information about the real engine the character is based on, and fantasy humour about their national stereotype.

Staging

As they enter, each engine usually performs a skating trick or pantomimes their character. For example, the Italian engine often finds a woman in the audience to flirt with, the British Engine is usually late and arrives backwards, and the Japanese engine often skates a back-flip off the bowl.

History

In the original London production, the Entry of the National Engines was positioned just before "AC/DC". Control called for all the entries for the races to line up for a parade. This introduced not only the National Engines, but also Rusty as the underdog and Greaseball as the current Champion. Control then put out a call for any late entries, cueing Electra's entrance.

In the Broadway and subsequent productions, the Entry of the National Engines was moved to be second number in the show, the first time we meet the characters onstage. This also meant removing the Overture.

The German show has used both variants. As of 2018, it takes a third path, having Control interrupt the Overture to introduce his engines.

Trivia

There is a common misconception that this number was not part of the original 1984 production as it is not on the 1984 recording. It was performed, but cut from the recording for keep the running time short enough to print the record on vinyl.

Weltschaft/Ruhrgold has always been described as "Right on time/Immer pünktlich" - which, in 1984 Britain, was the genuine impression of the German rail network. However the same line, still used in the German show, is now met with laughter at the ironic joke since the ICE does not have a great reputation for time-keeping.

Criticism

For some fans, moving Entry of the National Engines earlier in the show has the unfortunate effect of over-stating the importance of the names and identities of the tertiary characters to the audience not already familiar with the show. It really makes no difference to the overall story if you remember that Bobo is French, and Espresso Italian.

Gallery

Lyrics

1984 London

Control: Control, Control!
Coaches and Trucks to selection grid. Racetime - 10 minutes.
Champion Engines assemble for Parade!
National Champions for Parade.
From France, the 120mph Sud-est!
The power of the Sud-est, Bobo!
From Italy, the 100mph Rome to Milan Express. The Settebello.
Powered by Espresso.
From Germany, the 110mph, the 103 Class. Weltschaft.
From Russia - as fast as possible - the Trans-Siberian Express.
Powered by Turnov.
From England, occasionally, the Advanced Passenger Train.
The City of Milton Keynes!
From Japan, the Shinkansen Bullet Train.
The power of the bullet - Hashamoto.
The reigning champion - the Pacific Daylight.
The power of the pacific - Greaseball.
From the sidings... Rusty the steamer.
Rusty: Nobody can do it like a steam train!
All: Rusty go home, Rusty go home.
Rusty, get back, clear off the track!
Control: Entries closing, Entries closing...
Closing once, closing twice...
(into AC/DC)

1987 Broadway

1989 US Tour

This is Control. This is Control.
Listen up! Racetime minus ten minutes.
International Engines assemble for Parade. Assemble for the Parade!
From France, the 120mph Sud-est!
The power of the Sud-est, Bobo!
From Italy, the Milan Express. The Settebello.
Powered by Espresso!
From Germany, the 110mph, the 103 Class.
Powered by Weltschaft.
From Russia - as fast as possible - the Trans-Siberian Express.
Powered by Turnov.
From Japan, the Shinkansen Bullet Train.
The power of the bullet - Hashamoto.
Any more entries?
Sorry, we have a technical problem - a little interference....
Oh boy, I think we have a superstar challenger!
(into AC/DC)

German Lyrics

Hier ist Control, hier ist Control.
Hört zu: noch zehn Minuten bis zum ersten Rennen!
Internationale Züge für die Parade aufstellen, für die Parade aufstellen!
Aus Italien: der Rom-Mailand Express
Settebello, angetrieben von Espresso!
Aus Frankreich: der TGV,
die Kraft des Süd-Ostens, Bobo!
Aus Russland: so schnell, wie möglich.
Der Transsibirienexpress, angetrieben von Turnov!
Aus Japan: der Shinkansen Zug,
angetrieben von Hashamoto!
Aus Deutschland: immer pünktlich,
der ICE, angetrieben von Ruhrgold.
Noch weitere Anmeldungen?
Scheint, wir haben ein technisches Problem.
Aber das haben wir gleich.
Oh man, wir haben noch einen, der bei Rennen mitmacht!
Wir haben einen Superstar als Herausforderer!
(into AC/DC)

1992 London

This is Control! This is Control!
Tonight is race-night!
Let's hear it for the champion engines of the world!
From France, the 120mph Sudest.
The power of the Sudest - Bobo!
From Italy, the Rome to Milan Express, the Settebello.
Powered by Espresso!
From Germany, Right on time, the Intercontinental Express.
Powered by Ruhrgold.
From Russia, as fast as possible, the Trans-Siberian Express.
Powered by Turnov!
From Japan, the Shinkansen Bullet Train.
The power of the Bullet - Nintendo!
From Great Britain, battling through the wrong kind of snow, the royal train!
Powered by the Prince of Wales!
(British Rail announce a delay in the arrival of the royal train.
This is due to staffing difficulties)
And from the U.S. of A, the reigning champion!
The greatest Diesel Locomotive in History, the Union Pacific!
Powered by Greaseball!
(into Rolling Stock)

2003 US Tour

Attention! Attention everybody! It's race night.

Let's hear it for the greatest engines in the world.

All the way from Germany – he's fast, he's clean, he's always on time – here comes the ICE, the intercontinental express – Ruhrgold!
From the huge, giant country of Russia, where the buildings look like onions, here comes the awesome Russian train, the Trans-Siberian express – Turnov!
Zooming in on track 3, from Japan, where all the neatest stuff gets invented first, it's the totally cool Shinkansen bullet train – Nintendo!
And now from England, the train of kings and queens, of duchesses and duches, shiny and proud and late as usual, the British Royal Train – the Prince of Wales!
And finally, the current champion, from the USA, the greatest diesel locomotive in history, the Union Pacific – powered by Greaseball!