Hitching and Switching is a short scene vital to the plot.  In it the Engines choose their race partners.  This has major social and political implications for the characters, as picking partners is socially level with being asked to a prom for the coaches; who races with who is a major point of contention throughout the show.


in the Original show, Control announced each engine individually, and they picked their partner.  With the original introduction to AC/DC not naming the components, this was the audience's opportunity to identify them.  Throughout the proceedings Pearl would start forward, singing "I have to be certain, I have to be sure", but beaten by a more decisive rival to each partner.  This scene also made it clear that Electra's original intent was to race with Volta.  Rusty was the last engine to come forward, with most of the eligible partners already spoken for.  As Pearl was also still single, he approached her and their conversation led into "He Whistled At Me"


As this scene was relatively long and talky, it was shortened to a much snappier version for the Broadway show, where Greaseball, as reigning Champion, first chose his partner Dinah, and everyone else was left to find their own.  

The German show uses Control telling everyone to find a partner before "Pearl, Welche Ehre" in the Complete recording.  Modern revisions since the 1992 London update place "Crazy" between the action of "Hitching" and Purse's invitation to Pearl.

Union Square Dance Edit

During the 1992 revisions to the London production, a new number was trialled in this space, "Union Square Dance". This consisted of a choreographed square dance narrated by Control as the characters matched up.  Apparently the number was performed for approximately one week before being cut as it was both too ridiculous, and bore a notable resemblance to Monty Python's "Lumberjack Song".

Lyrics Edit

Control: Control Control. Race-time minus Five Minutes.
Three Heats: Three trains in each heat.
Three winners to go to Championship Final
Selection time. Engines will select partners for racing.
First up: Greaseball!
Dinah: A lotta locomotion, I got already!
Control: Dinah races with Greaseball.
Caboose: The Red Caboose would like to be of use?
Control: CB with Hashamoto.
Pearl: I have to be certain, I have to be sure?
Buffy: Buffy at your service, try my best espresso.
Control: Buffy races with Espresso.
Volta: Electra's my current affair!
Control: Volta races with Electra.
Joule/Wrench: AC/DC it's ok by me
Control: Joule with Weltschaft. Wrench with Turnov.
Control: Bobo
Pearl: I have to be certain, I have to be sure?
Ashley: My name is Ashley, do you have a light?
Control: Ashley races with Bobo.
Milton Keynes
Rocky 1: I'm Rocky. You going for a hike?
Milton: I'm Sorry, I'm going on strike!
Control: City of Milton Keynes with Rocky.
Ensemble: Rusty? you can't be serious.
Control: Time up, Time up! Penalty, Penalty.
Rusty Unconnected! Ten Penalty points!

1987 Broadway Edit

Control: Hey, this is turning into a real grudge match.
Take a chill pill everyone!
We're gonna settle this on the track.
So let's get hitched, and get going!
The reigning champion gets first pick of partners.
Dinah: A lotta locomotion I got already!
Control: Why split up the perfect couple?
Champion Engines, you got five minutes to race time.
C'mon, choose your partners! Got em? Get going.
The rest of you move it!
If you don't join up, you ain't in the war.

1992 London Edit

Control: Control, Control!
This is turning into a real grudge match.
Take a chill pill everyone!
We're here to race, and you don't race without a partner.
So hitch up! We're gonna settle this on the track.
You got five minutes til race-time!
If you ain't in twos, you lose.
Coaches: Come on, Rusty, You heard what he said!
Rusty: Hold on!
What's the matter, Pearl?
Don't you wanna race with the fastest engine in the world?
Pearl: I'd love to, Rusty, but where is he?
Rusty: Right here!
(into Crazy)

German Lyrics - Original versionEdit

Control: Hey, das Rennen scheint ja richtig ernst zu werden,
immer mit der Ruhe, Leute.
Das Rennen wird auf den Gleisen entschieden!
Also macht euch fertig!
Der Titelverteidiger kann als Erster seinen Parner wählen.
Dinah: Ne Lok mit Locomotion, hab' ich gefunden.
Control: Ein gutes Team soll man nicht trennen.
Die anderen haben noch fünf Minuten bis zum Start.
Nach macht schon!
Wer sich nicht bindet, kann nicht teilnehmen!

Revised German LyricsEdit

Control: Oh oh! Das Rennen scheint ja richtig ernst zu werden!
Immer mit der Ruhe, Leute.
Das Rennen wird auf den Gleisen entschieden!
Also: macht euch fertig!
Wählt eure Partner!
Und ihr da: beeilt euch! Wer keinen Partner findet, kann nicht teilnehmen!
Ashley: Komm' schon, Rusty, du hast ihn gehört!
Rusty: Warte!
Was ist los, Pearl?
Willst du denn nicht mit der schnellsten Lok der Welt fahren?
Pearl: Doch! Natürlich, Rusty!
Aber: wo ist die denn?
Rusty: Genau hier!

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