There are different kinds of trains: passenger trains, mail trains and goods trains. Mail trains carry mail, or post, that is letters, parcels, newspapers and magazines. Goods trains carry goods. Passenger trains carry passengers. Mail trains and passenger trains are usually combined: they have carriages for passengers and a special carriage or two for mail.
Passenger trains can be slow or fast. A slow train stops at every station. Fast trains have few stops: they stop only at every large stations. So we can call these trains respectively stopping trains and non-stopping trains.
There are local trains and long-distance trains. Local trains connect points situated not far away from each other, say, a hundred or two-three hundred kilometers. By a long-distance train you can travel very far- for thousands of kilometers. If you live in a large city, like St. Peterburg or Moscow, you can go to the suburbs of the city by a suburban train.
Sometimes, when traveling a long distance, you have to change trains ( or make a changing), that is get off one train and board another, if there is no through train to the place of your destination.
When you are traveling a long distance, it is very convenient to go by an overnight train. Overnight trains have sleeping accommodation: they usually have “corridor cars”, i.e. carriages with separate compartments (they are called sleeping cars, or sleepers). In each compartment there are two lower and two upper berths, on which you can sleep like in bed. Trains which run by day are called day coaches. You cannot sleep in these trains: they have only sitting accommodation: very comfortable soft armchairs.
Answer the following questions:
There are various means of travel. We can travel by train, boat, airplane, car and finally we can travel on foot. You have all of you, done a certain amount of traveling, so let’s talk about the method of travel you like best.
Should you ask me what kind of transport I like best I’d speak in support of the train. With a train you have speed, comfort and pleasure combined. Suppose you want to go from Moscow to Vladivostok. The taxi brings you to one of the biggest station in Moscow – the “Severny Terminal”.
What place is more interesting than a big station? There is the movement, the excitement, the gaiety of the people going away and sorrow of those w2ho are seeing others off. There are the shouts of the porters as they pull luggage along the platforms to the waiting trains, the crowd at the booking-office getting tickets, the children tightly holding on to the skirts of their mothers, and passengers hurrying to board the train..
At last you manage to make your way through the crowd, closely following the porter, who has taken care of your luggage, and get out on to the platform. There are many tracks and trains there. No need for you to look round and read the signs that tell which train you must take. You follow your porter, and here you are – Car number 2, Train-.
You show your tickets to the guard and in you go into a most wonderful carriage. All is bustle and confusion, with people filling in, bumping into each other, and what not. Al last you manage to stow away your luggage and get out to the platform for fresh air and bid farewell to the well-wishers who have come to see you off.
But you have scarcely time to kiss and hug your friends when the station-master on duty, in a red cap, signals the train. You hear no shrill whistle of the engine – the train pulls out of the station noiselessly and without a jerk.
You are on your way. You start up a conversation with your fellow-passengers (people take to each other quickly when travelling) and soon you get to know who is who and what. Now that the excitement of the day is over you begin to feel hungry.
The dining-car steward happens to come along and you take booking for dinner or supper, whichever it might be. As you go for the second sitting you have time to wash. By that time the guard has made your bed. You take your towel and go to the toilet to wash yourself.
You feel tired now, after a hearty meal, so you decide to turn up. You get into your upper berth and begin to absorb the beauty of the changing scenes that fly past you – the cheerful fields of wheat and corn, the meadows under a mantle of flowers, grass and green moss, the rivers that run through woodland countries, the forests with their delicious sense of peace, and the mountains ribbed with sharp steep ridges.
But drowsiness creeps over you. You close your eyes and soon drift away into that vast mysterious void which men call sleep.
As for me there is nothing better than to travel by car- a good, fast car I mean. When you are in an airplane, you have to be driven by someone else: travel by car is a more personal experience, for there you can drive yourself.
You just sit down at the wheel, switch on the motor, step on the pedal with your foot and off the car goes. You can go as slowly or as fast as you wish, stop when and where you choose; you park the car on the side of the road (street), get out and go where you like.
It is quite true that driving a car has some disadvantages,. In town it is rather a nuisance with all these traffic “jams” or “hold-ups”, round-about, detours and so on. It is not altogether pleasant when you ride on a bumpy road or get a flat tyre, or still worse, when you get stuck in the mud.
But what can be better than a spin in a car on a week-end with your friend? As soon as you get out of the crowded town and see the long wide road opening up before you, what a thrill it is to feel the car rush forward at a touch of your foot, to feel the wind in your face, to see houses, trees and people flash past,, to feel the real joy of speed.
Then, of course, you see much more of the country than you do in a plane. Suppose you are on vacation and decided to take a 700-800 mile trip down South in a car. What magnificent views you behold on your way – the cheerful fields, the road winding its way up the mountain with steep, grey cliffs on one side and a deep precipice on the other, the shining expanse of the sea wrapped in a blue noonday haze, the woods, the rows of acacia that stretch along the streets of the towns that you pass through.
Indeed your impressions are unforgettable.
Travelling by air has some advantages of course. It is convenient and much quicker.
Before you get on board the plane you have your luggage registered. It is weighed and labeled. You do not take your luggage with you, only a small bag, perhaps. Before the flight you can watch the planes taking off and landing.
Then you hear your flight announced and after the security check the passengers are invited to board the plane and take their seats. The stewardess greets the passengers ands shows them to their seats. When the plane takes off, she gives the passengers all the information about the flight, about the speed-and the altitude at which the plane will be flying. She asks the passengers to fasten their seat belts and not to smoke when the plane takes off. Then she offers them some mineral water, lemonade and sweets, tea, coffee or a meal.
During the flight the passengers do whatever they like. Some of them read, others sleep or chart or looking out, enjoy the beautiful scenes. They can see a film or listen to music. Occasionally the plane sways very gently up and down or from side to side, giving the scene a strangely unreal quality. You watch fascinated. Sometimes you can see the land below. It looks like a topographical map. You reach your destination in a few hours and realize all the advantages of traveling by air.
Learn the following dialogue:
1. And what about a ticket? Was it easy to get?
2. Oh, quite easy. I booked my ticket in advance at an air-travel booking office. It took me
IV. only a few minutes to do that. The very next day I had it delivered to the hotel I was
V. staying at.
VII. And how did you like the plane? It’s wonderful inside, isn’t it?
VIII. Oh, yes. It’s very comfortable. The hostess, a very nice-looking girl, took great care of the passengers and offered us some snacks and soft drinks.
- I will try it by all means.
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