Electra the Electric Train

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Andreas Wolfram as Electra, Bochum 2007

Electra the Electric Engine is a fictional character from the rock musical Starlight Express.

Electra is the newest train to enter the yard and, therefore, Control's newest toy. He comes with his own line of components that are loyal to him. He's rich, self-centered and sexy. His eyes are set on Pearl and they race in the heats until she chooses Greaseball. Electra then takes Dinah for the uphill Final after Greaseball dumps her. Dissatisfied with his performance, Dinah disconnects herself from him and he calls for CB to race with him for the re-run Final. In the end, he crashes along with Greaseball and CB.


Electra is, from the moment he enters, seen as some sort of Prima Donna. Even before then, as we meet his components, we are told he is a "megastar" and "rich, and cool". He also seems to think a lot of himself, and the subtext in his song (along with choreography and his character tick-overs) suggests he is AC/DC. This reference to AC/DC can also be taken to mean that Electra is a dual-voltage locomotive, capable of running on both AC and DC power.


Electra's character is influenced by David Bowie, an androgynous Rock Star. He, along with Greaseball the Diesel, are the Ugly stepsisters in the original concept of the show being Cinderella for trains. He also reminds some of the Rum Tum Tugger from the musical Cats because both are vain, sexy and rebellious.

Unlike the other characters, Electra does not appear to have any resemblance to any electric locomotives.

Musical numbers[edit]

Electra sings "AC/DC", his opening theme and also features in group numbers. In the Original London version he has a second solo "No Comeback", which he sings as he leaves in a rage after losing the Race final to Rusty. This song did not appear in any subsequent productions. He now sings "One Rock 'n' Roll Too Many" with Greaseball and Caboose.


Electra's costume is based on a palatte of electric blue, silver and red. He is patterned to resemble computer circuitry. His impressive mohawk is usually styled to resemble frayed wire, but when played by John Partridge his head was shaved and painted. His look bears a passing resemblance to other mechanoids, Transformers. As one of the most eye-catching designs, Electra is often used for advertising the show.

Electra's Components are designed to represent elements of a Superstar's entourage. Krupp is the Chauffeur and Bodyguard, represented in his uniformed hat, sunshades and gun holster. Wrench, as a mechanic, wears a welding apron and her hat represents the crane found on repair trucks. Purse wears pinstripes as suits an accountant. Joule's London design reflected her Animal Truck origin, her skintight red/grey costume and white bib resembling Bombalurina from the musical Cats. Volta wears elegant black, her hair styled into a fan, reflecting her nature of a Freezer Truck. All the component's costumes are designed on a restricted colour palatte of Red, Electric Blue, Silver/Grey and Black, this reinforces their relationship to Electra onstage.

In Starlight on Ice, Electra and the components' outfits change. Instead of being colorful, Electra is now bright "warning sign" yellow with a matching mohawk. His look is much sleeker and bears no resemblance to the original design. The components wear very similar outfits which are yellow and silver.

Electra's make-up[edit]

Electra's make-up is an assortment of blue, silver and red glittered stripes, patterns and lipstick, as well as a pair of long, silver eyelashes. In the London production, his look was less camp, and he had a black and white checkered pattern on one side of his face.