At the railway station


It's common knowledge that nowadays people travel a lot. They travel On business and for pleasure, about the country and abroad. Those who wish to travel have at their disposal various means of transport: express trains and big ships, cars and jet airplanes.

Although aircraft are faster and, some people say, more convenient, the railway is still one of the most popular means of travel. First of all, the railway tickets are cheaper. And there are people who don't like flying, and there are others who enjoy travelling by train more than by plane.

With a train you have speed, comfort and pleasure combined. From the comfortable corner seat of a carriage you have a splendid view of the countryside. If you are hungry you can have a meal in the dining-car or the buffet-car and if the journey is long you can have a comfortable bed in a sleeper.

A big railway station is a very busy and interesting place. There are a lot of platforms at which trains come in and go out. A train is standing at one of the platforms ready to leave. The porters are very busy carrying luggage to the train or pushing it on their trucks. On another platform a train has just come in. Some passengers are getting out, others are getting in. Those who haven't bought their tickets in advance are waiting in queues at the booking-office. At the bookstalls people are choosing books, magazines and newspapers for the journey. At the cloak-room or luggage office some people are leaving and taking their luggage.

There are a lot of signs in a big railway station. You may see ENTRANCE and EXIT. There is also a WAITING ROOM where you can relax until it is time to board your train. If you are hungry or thirsty you'll go to the REFRESHMENT ROOM. If you don't know the number of the platform from which your train leaves, look for the signs ARRIVALS and DEPARTURES. They will tell you the number of the platform.

When you arrive in a large town you may leave your heavy luggage at the station. In this case you will look for the CLOAK ROOM or LUGGAGE OFFICE.

If you have lost something you need to find LOST PROPERTY OFFICE. If you find anything, if it is a small item like glasses or umbrella, you can take them to the lost property office, too. If it is big, something like a parcel or a suitcase, report it to the POLICE OFFICE, never touch it yourself.

You will also see the sign BOOKING OFFICE. This is where you buy your ticket. If you don't know the time or the platform your train leaves from you'll go to the INQUIRY OFFICE or the INFORMATION BUREAU.

Answer the questions.

  • What means of travel are at travellers' disposal?
  • Why is railway still a very popular means of transport?
  • What is convenient in travelling by train?
  • Why is a railway station a busy place?
  • What signs can you see at a railway station and what do they mean?
  • Give Russian equivalents to the following words and word combinations.

Vocabulary

  • space — пространство
  • densely — густой, густо
  • comprehensive— обширный, всесторонний, понятный
  • notable — выдающийся, значительный, заметный
  • network — сеть
  • to deter from... — удерживать от ..., отпугивать
  • deal — сделка
  • to avoid — избежать
  • rush hour — час пик
  • to save — экономить
  • exactly — точно, ровно, четко
  • restriction — ограничение
  • coach — междугородный автобус
  • disadvantage — неудобство
  • drawback — недостаток
  • to improve — улучшать
  • ferry — паром
  • timetable — расписание
  • route — путь, маршрут
  • Urgently — срочно
  • to achieve — достигать
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