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"Race: Heat Two" is the second of several eliminator races we see in Starlight Express. The Original London production ran three heats, but all other productions run two heats. The key feature of this race in all later productions is Poppa racing with Dustin, and winning a place in the final.

1984 London Production

L84 Heat 2

Belle and Rusty; Pearl and Electra in Heat Two

Rusty, who had been so despondent about his chances in the race without Pearl, has decided instead to race with Belle, against Electra and Pearl. However seeing his crush as a competitor distracts Rusty, and he's just not fast enough to win against the Electric.

In the original London production, each race had three race pairs. The first engine to win the heat qualifies for the final. Technically, when the race structure was overhauled for the Broadway production, cutting three heats to two, it was this race which was cut, in which Rusty was beaten by Electra. Heat Three, where Poppa wins a place in the final, became Heat Two in all subsequent productions.

Musical themes featured in this race include "Call Me Rusty", "AC/DC", and "No Comeback". This music is included on the 1984 Original Cast Recording as "The Race", but positioned in the running order as if it were Race One.

The entries for "Race: Heat Two" are as follows:

1987 Broadway Production

Determined to prove the sulky Rusty wrong, Poppa decides to enter the race. The only partner available to him is the unlikely candidate, Dustin. However by luck and chance, Poppa wins the race and a place in the final.

From Broadway onwards, Control commented on the races, there are four engines competing and the first two engines to finish the win qualifies for the final. The race entries are the same for the 1989 North American Tour and Las Vegas.

Musically the race includes themes from "No Comeback" and "Engine of Love". However the Las Vegas race music did not use any themes beyond the specific race music.

The entries for "Race: Heat Two" are as follows:

1987 Japanese/Australian Tour Production

The national engines are given twins so all of the nationals enter in "Race: Heat One" while their twins race in "Race: Heat Two".

The entries for "Race: Heat Two" are as follows:

  • Track One: Nakamura and Volta (2nd Place qualifier)
  • Track Two: Vladimir and Ashley
  • Track Three: Pendelino and Red Caboose
  • Track Four: Poppa and Dustin (Winner)
  • Track Five: Coco and Pearl
  • Track Six: Flying Hamburger and Joule II

1988 German Production

B89 Race 2

The racers jump to avoid Poppa, who's fallen on the tracks

The entries for "Race: Heat Two" are as follows:

Like in the first race, the Engines try to cheat, apart from Poppa, who becomes victim of the others', though. The races have been re-choreographed often, but some story elements remain constant. Poppa starts off heading the wrong way and stumbles in front of the other racers, causing them to leap over him. Buffy and Ashley take care of their Engines after a big fight, by picking them up from the ground. Just like Volta, Joule is a fierce race-partner, taking part in the small battles more than the Coaches. Usually, all trains reach the finish line.

"Call Me Rusty", "No Comeback", "Engine of Love" all feature in the original race music. the 2013 German recording only features "No Comeback" besides the specific race music.

Race 2 - Starlight Express Bochum 199801:10

Race 2 - Starlight Express Bochum 1998

1992 London Production

L92 Heat 2

Bobo, Turnov, Ruhrgold, and Poppa line up with their partners.

From 1992 onwards, the London production adopted a four-race structure, adapted for the lack of Caboose. The races are recorded in abridged form on the 1993 "New Starlight Express" recording.

"Rolling Stock" and "No Comeback" feature on the recorded race music, with "Engine of Love" and "Rolling Stock" being the key melodies used live.

The entries for "Race: Heat Two" are as follows:

2003 US / 2004 UK Touring Productions

The pre-recorded 3D races used for touring productions since 2003 used a structure of three engines per heat, with it implied but not specified that one winner would go through to the final. However since Race One concludes in a dead heat, both winners go through to the final. The single winner from Heat Two, Poppa, takes a third place in the final.

Musically, "Whole Lotta Locomotion" is the main theme used in the race.

The entries for "Race: Heat Two" are as follows:

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