CB the Red Caboose

CB the Red Caboose

CB (Caboose) is a character from the musical "Starlight Express". He's a crowd favourite but was removed from the New London and On Ice productions. He seems to have a split personality. Since he is the Caboose, he is willing to help the other trains with their work. Later on, he gets tired of helping them and then decides to sabotage Rusty in the race. But when he is racing with Electra, he gets fought over by Electra and Greaseball, and ends up crashing both of them.

Many people think that Caboose is in love with Dinah, and that is why he wants to crash Greaseball (who Dinah loves) and Electra (who she briefly races with). This is also often thought to be his motive behind singing "There's Me".Of course, there is also the theory that he is just psychotic and mad as a box of frogs, leaping from mad destructive plan to mad destructive plan, stopping briefly to notice that Dinah is shiny.

In the original production he had a name, C.B., presumably after CB radios (this may also be one of Richard Stilgoe's many beloved puns, as it is almost an abbreviation of 'Caboose'). There is a scene in the Original London production, where Greaseball enters and says, 'Hi C.B.' and C.B. answers 'Hi G.B.', supporting the abbreviation train of thought. Several examples of CB radio code pepper his lines, including 'ten-seven', which means a dead body(said when he's mocking Rusty after holding him back in the Uphill Final), and 'smokey bear', which refers to a sheriff. From Broadway onwards, however, he dropped all references to CB radios and was known only as 'The Red Caboose'.In Expreso Astral, the 1997 Mexican production, Red Caboose was literally translated to 'Cabus Rojo'. He was not in "Starlight Express on Ice", since he was taken out of the New London production, on which On Ice was based.


C.B was (in London) and is (in Bochum) one of the more prominent characters. He was the overall baddie and lynchpin of the plot, manipulating champion engines Greaseball and Electra. In the UK tour he became a less prominent character(technically ensemble, demoted along with Buffy and Ashley), so that Electra and Greaseball had to plot things for themselves. He did, however, still manipulate them, but it was not as obvious - and while all of his songs had been removed to keep him cheap ensemble, the introduction to 'Wide Smile, High Style', in which all the plotting is done, remained. Presumably it is close enough to dialogue to not count as a solo.

In June 2008 his role was reduced in Bochum, with 'Dein Freund' cut(allegedly to make room for Pearl's newly translated ballad 'Dann pfeift er mir zu '/'He'll Whistle at me'), along with its reprise in 'Bummellok'. Greaseball and Gang now participate in 'Mein Spiel', disappearing just in time for Electra and Components to come on and do their dance.

Musical Numbers

*Freight - with other trucks
*There's me - to Dinah
*C.B - With Electra and Components
*I was robbed - With Rusty, Electra, Pearl and Greaseball
*One Rock n' Roll Too many - With Greaseball

*Fracht - with other trucks
*Dein Freund - with Dinah(cut in 2008)
*Mein Spiel - With Electra and Components
*Ein Rock n' Roll Zuviel - With Electra and Greaseball

US / UK Tour
*Freight - with other trucks
*Wide Smile (US) - With Greaseball, Electra and Components
*I was robbed - With Rusty, Electra, Pearl and Greaseball
*One Rock n' Roll Too many - With Electra and Greaseball

New London
*Cut - for a brief experimental period, There's Me was sung by Dustin, then re-worked to be sung by Dinah as That's Me(with lyrics about her own personality, and why she allows Greaseball to treat her so atrociously), before being completely cut.

Starlight on Ice


Originally he had grey leggings and a huge hat with a radio aerial, but from Broadway onwards he was in a red unitard with black pinstripes and latex accessories that are designed to look like a caboose. He wears a hat that looks like a train driver's. His costume features several logos of now-defunct railway companies - his hunting trophies, as it were. He is loosely based on a design of Caboose of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. This motif is also recognisable on Pearl's belt in the Las Vegas/Tour productions, as well as being on his chest panel.

Caboose does not usually wear a wig, but uses his own hair, mostly covered by his hat. Actors have been known to dye or bleach their hair to suit. He often styles his fringe up into a large quiff. In the UK tour, his fringe is gelled into spiky style popular among schoolboys.



* Michael Staniforth
* Paul Reeves
* Robin Wright
* Peter Rees
* Eddie Kemp
* William Adams


* Barry K. Bernal


* Peter Rees


* Hans Johansson
* Roderick Cloud
* Kapa Kitchen
* Robert Pigott
* Thierry Gondet
* Steven Schultz
* Murray Golding
* Rob Fowler
* Oliver Rhoe Thornton
* Anthony Kirwan
* Craig Perry
* Nivaldo Allves
* Ben Draper

First US Tour

* Todd Lester

Las Vegas

* T. Robert Pigott
* Chris Castillo
* Ken Romero


* Christian Uribe

Second US Tour

* Jeremy Kocal

UK Tour
* Grant Murphy
* Stuart Armfield
* Cameron Neilson
* Ben Draper

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.