Text 3. Travelling by Train in Britain — КиберПедия 

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Text 3. Travelling by Train in Britain

Exercise 1. Read the text and give a short summary.

One of the first things a foreigner notices about British railways is the platforms. They are higher than in most parts of the world. The platform is almost on a level with the floor of the carriages. Therefore, you do not have to climb up into a railway carriage in Britain. This makes it a little easier to get in and out of the carriage with your luggage.

The trains that go to and from London are very crowded at the times when people are travelling to work, since about a million people travel to London to work each day. There are cheap tickets after a certain time of the day, usually about 9.30 when everyone has gone to work. These are called cheap day return tickets. It is often nearly 50% cheaper to travel to London after 9.30 than before this time.

On many fast trains to London there is a dining-car in which you can buy lunch, dinner or coffee. On others there is a buffet at which it is possible to buy snacks and drinks. Sometimes a waiter from the dining-car brings round cups of coffee to the passengers.

There are only two classes in Britain – first and second. A first-class ticket costs 50% more than a second-class ticket. On long journeys, there is a ticket inspector, who visits every passenger to see if he has the right ticket and is not travelling in the wrong class.

In England train passengers seldom converse with their fellow-travelers even on a long journey – this is more a national custom than a matter of etiquette.

When the passenger reaches the end of his journey and leaves the train, he has to give his ticket to the ticket collector at the exit before he can leave the station. If he has luggage and wants someone to carry it for him to a waiting car or a taxi, he must ask a porter. The porter does not make a charge for this service, but he expects a tip.


Text 4. Seeing off

Exercise 1. Read the text. Retell the text using the Reported Speech


Three men came to the station at about nine o’clock one evening. They came on to the platform and said to the porter: ”What time is the next train to Liverpool?”

The porter said: ”You have missed one. They run every hour, the next one is at ten o’clock”. “That’s all right”, they said, “We’ll go and have a drink”. So off they went to the refreshment room. A minute or two after ten o’clock they came running and said to the porter: “Has the train gone?” “Yes”, he said, “it went at ten o’clock as I told you. The next is at eleven o’clock”. ‘That’s all right”, they said, “we’ll go and have another drink”. So they went back to the refreshment room.

They missed the eleven o’clock train in the same way, and the porter said: “Now, the next train is the last one, if you miss that, you won’t get to Liverpool tonight”.

Twelve o’clock came, and the last train was just starting out, when the three of them came out of the refreshment room running as hard as they could do. Two of them got in a carriage just as the train was leaving, but the third one didn’t run fast enough and the train went out leaving him behind. He stood there looking at the train and laughing, as if to miss a train was the best joke in the world. The porter went up to him and said: “I told you that this was the last train. Why didn’t you come earlier?” The man couldn’t answer for laughing. He laughed until tears came into his eyes. Then he caught hold of the porter and said: “Did you see those two fellows get into the train and leave me here?” “Yes, I saw them”. “Well, I was the one who was going to Liverpool, they only came to see me off”.


Text 5. Travelling by Sea

Exercise 1. Read and translate the text.

As for me there is no journey so fine as by sea. There are many things that make trips by sea fascinating. Though I am not much of a sailor, I love the sight of a ship with its many decks, cabins and state-rooms. It looks like a huge white floating city.

I shall never forget my first trip on board the “Pobeda” from Odessa to Sochi. The season was at its height then and the passenger traffic on the Odessa-Batumi line was heavy, so we had to reserve berths at the agency beforehand.

The ship was to sail at 2.00 p.m. on a certain Saturday early in July. In the morning of that distinguished day I felt very excited. A little after noon we reached the pier. The pier was crowded with cars, trucks loaded with luggage, passengers arriving and hurrying on board, and well-wishers seeing them off. It was really thrilling going up the gangway. Up and up we went until we reached the main deck. There we were attended by a sailor who took us down below deck. Soon he brought us to our cabin. It was a small room with two berths in it, and against the wall, just below the round window (a porthole) stood a little table.

At last we heard the ship’s siren warning the passengers and their well-wishers to say good-bye to each other. After some 10-15 minutes the ship weighed anchor and slowly slipped out of the harbour.

The “Pobeda” had all modern conveniences and a wide choice of entertainment facilities. There were restaurants, a good library, a cinema hall, billiard rooms and what not.

In the evening we enjoyed the beautiful sunset at sea. It was marvelous. Our voyage lasted several days. On our way we called at several ports. The stays were quite sufficient to give us the opportunity of visiting some places of interest there, but the most wonderful city was Sochi, of course.


Exercise 2. Give the Russian equivalents for the following:

Travelling by sea; fascinating; I am not much of a sailor; many decks, cabins and state-rooms; the season was at its height; the passenger traffic; to reserve berths beforehand; a distinguished day; the pier; a porthole; the ship weighed anchor; a wide choice of entertainment facilities; sunset at sea; the stays.


Exercise 3. Translate the Russian phrases into English and read the sentences aloud.

1) (Что касается меня) there is no travel so fine as by sea.

2) The ship looks like (огромный белый плавучий город).

3) The pier was crowded with (машинами, тележками с багажом, спешащими пассажирами и провожающими).

4) Our cabin was a small room with (двумя койками и маленьким столиком под иллюминатором).

5) The sunset at sea was (великолепным).

6) (Наше морское путешествие) lasted several days.

7) On our way (мы заходили в несколько портов).


Exercise 4. Answer the questions:

1) What kind of travelling does the story-teller prefer and why?

2) Where did he travel to for the first time?

3) How did he get the ticket?

4) When did he arrive at the pier?

5) How did it look like?

6) How did the cabin look like?

7) What facilities could be found on board the ship?

8) What can you say about his voyage?


Exercise 5. 1) Describe your last trip on board the ship.

2) Describe the trip of your dream.


Text 6. Travelling by Air.

Exercise 1. Read and translate the text.

As for me there is nothing like travel by air, it is more comfortable, more convenient and, of course, far quicker than by any other means of transport. A taxi or a bus of the Airline Service takes you to the airport. There on the runway you can see a jet-propelled passenger plane ready to carry you to your place of destination.

When the formalities of registering yourself and weighing your baggage are over, you get up the gangway and board the plane. If you are travelling for the first time, you may apply to the stewardess and she will see you to your seat and give you all the information you need, for ex., how to fasten the belt, how to adjust the seat and so on. Soon the plane takes off. At that moment you can see a notice “No smoking. Fasten your seat-belts”. During the flight you can get information of the altitude, speed, the weather and the distance covered. The stewardess serves you mineral water, juice, tea, sweets and sandwiches. If you feel hungry, you will be provided with an excellent lunch. Besides, newspapers and magazines are offered to the passengers. Usually everybody feels comfortable, but if you are airsick, you will be given some help.


Exercise 2. Quote the sentences with the following words and phrases:

Means of transport; a passenger plane; to board the plane; to fasten the seat belt; to take off; the altitude, speed, weather and the distance covered; to serve; to be offered; to be airsick.


Exercise 3. Give the short summary of the text.


Text 7. At the Customs

Exercise 1. Read the text.

Every day many people travel throughout the world either on business or for pleasure. Those who cross the frontier of the state have to go through customs.

The customs service is designed for carrying out customs control to regulate import and export of goods and currency. The place where customs or duties are paid is called a customs house.

Every country has its own customs legislation, and if you are going abroad you are supposed to learn the rules of leaving and entering the foreign state. To be on the safe side, you should know what is allowed or prohibited to be brought in or taken out. Before packing your luggage consult the prohibited articles list which is available at the customs.

Among the articles that are prohibited for taking out of the country in accordance with customs legislation of all the states you will find works of art, different types of prints, manuscripts, valuable musical instruments, securities, numismatics, stamps and other articles of artistic, historical and cultural value.

Though strict prohibition applies to antiques, you may be allowed to take some original painting or drawing out provided you got a special licence for it and paid duties.

The list of prohibited commodities both for bringing in and taking out also includes arms, explosives, military equipment and narcotics.

Everybody leaving for a foreign country ought to know that there can be articles liable to duty and duty free. As a rule, personal belongings, gifts and souvenirs (the cost of the latter must not exceed a certain limit stipulated by the customs regulation) are duty free.

When the passenger enters or leaves the country, he must fill in an entry or exit declaration which is to be produced to the customs officer. The passenger is to fill in his name, citizenship, country of residence, permanent address, purpose and duration of his visit in block letters. He must also declare all dutiable articles.

To make a trip to most countries every traveler must have a visa, single, multiple or transit, which is issued by the foreign Embassy or Consulate. The visa may be prolonged in case of necessity, but the time for which it is valid must not expire, otherwise the traveler will not be allowed to leave the country. The overseas passport is also necessary. All the documents are carefully studied by the customs officer.

To go through customs means to have your luggage inspected by customs men. The traveler puts his bags and suitcases on the moving conveyer belt for checking. To prevent smuggling, modern methods and techniques have been developed which help customs officers examine the inside of the luggage. TV-cameras and monitors are installed everywhere at the customs house.

In the UK there is a system of red and green symbols in operation at big airports. If you have nothing more than the allowances and no prohibited or restricted goods or goods for commercial purpose, go straight through the channel indicated by the green symbol unless the officer on duty asks you to stop. If you have more than the allowances or if you carry prohibited or restricted goods or goods for commercial purpose, go to the channel indicated by the red symbol.

So, if you follow the customs instructions and if you do not break any law, you will enjoy your trip abroad.

Exercise 2. Go on with enumerating.

  1. Articles that are duty free are personal belongings, …
  2. The following papers are needed for going through customs: a visa,…
  3. A visa can be issued as single,…
  4. In the prohibited articles list one can find antiques,…
  5. Among the articles liable to duty passengers can find original painting,…
  6. In the declaration form a traveler must write down a country visited, …
  7. A conveyer belt,.. are installed at the customs house to search the tourist’s luggage.

Exercise 3. Speak about filling in a declaration form. These questions will help you.

  1. What items are included in a declaration form?
  2. Why are two kinds of declaration used: entry and exit?
  3. How ought a form to be filled in, in handwriting or typewriting?
  4. What things must be declared? And how about currency?
  5. What other documents or papers besides a declaration form does a traveler need?

Exercise 4. Speak about the system of red and green symbols at the customs house at big airports of the UK.

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