Scene: the main hall of Paddington Station (one of the
main London
railway stations)
It was late at night, but there were still a lot of
people coming and going There was a noise of trains.
A good-looking, fair-haired Swiss girl of about twenty
was sitting on her suitcase. Her chin was in her hands and she looked tired and
depressed. Nodoby spoke to her, nobody even looked at her.
Another young woman went past. She noticed the fair
girl She stopped in surprise, turned round and looked
again. “Why, it’s Ann, isn’t it?” The fair
girl looked up. At first she didn’t recognize the other girl. “You
remember me, don’t you? I’m Pauline. We were at school together.”
Ann jumped to her feet. “Of
course! My dear Pauline! I’m so glad to see you.”
“I’m glad I noticed you. But what are you doing
here? I didn’t know you were in England.”
“I arrived from Zurich at one o’clock. I had lunch at Victoria station. I
think I took a long time over it. And now I’m alone in London. I don’t know anybody. And what a day
I’ve had! I must sit on this suitcase until tomorrow morning. I’m going to stay
with some people called Forest. They live
miles and miles in the country. But I’ve missed the last train.”
“Missed the last train? Have you really? That’s
bad luck. But how did you miss it? It seems rather silly.”
“It isn’t far from Victoria to Paddington, but it took a long
time to get there. I took a taxi, but still I arrived late. I ran into the
station and shouted: “Which is the four o’clock train for Brimstead? But
the porter thought I said “Bristol!”
He put me in a train just as it moved away from the station. I was very proud
of catching the train at the last minute. I settled down in the compartment.
There was an old gentleman there, but I was too shy to speak to him, Later he gave me a cigarette and we talked. We stopped at a
place called Reading
and then went on. I thought the journey was taking a long time.
Then a man came to collect our tickets. He looked at
mine and said: “Brimstead? You’re in the wrong tra 15315x233p in, Miss.” It was
terrible I cried: “Stop the train! I must get out!” But the man said:
“We don’t stop until Bristol.”
At last we got there. I got out and ran like the wind with my suitcase to catch
the next train back to London
I crossed the lines – a lot of porters shouted after
me, but I didn’t stop.
The London
train was just leaving. It was a slow train: it stop ­ped at every station. When
I got back here, the last train to Brimstead had just gone. It’s only a small
town, you see.”
“But why are you sitting out here in this
“It’s too stuffy in the waiting-room.”
“Poor Ann! Come and spend the night at my
lodgings. My land ¬≠lady will be pleased to see you.”
/. Listen to the text and answer the questions:
Where did Pauline meet Ann? Did Ann recognize her at
once? Why did Ann look so tired and depressed? How did it happen that she got
into the wrong train?
//. Read the text and analyse its language
peculiarities. Do some exercises in the next section to remember them.
Special Difficulties
/. Respond using the prompts:
e.g. – Bob got another job, I suppose, (old) – No, he was
too old to get another job. …I suppose.
1. Tom went alone, (young) 2. Peter got through the
window, (fat) 3. George drove the car. (drunk) 4. Mary
walked upstairs, (weak) 5. Peter ate something, (ill) 6. James bought the
house, (poor) 7. Frank understood, (stupid) 8. Jack
became a jockey, (small) 9. The other driver listened to you. (excited) 10. She wore your coat, (tall)
//. Make up sentences using the word combination
“to be proud
e.g. She/her son
She is proud of her son.
1. He / his wife. 2. The girl/her mother 3. The children/their pa ­rents 4. David/his
sister 5. Ann/her daughter 6. George/his
brother e.g. Mr Green/work for this firm
Mr Green is proud of working for this firm. 1.
Betty/type without mistakes 2. Dick/have a car 3.
Bill/speak Chinese 4. He/live in this country 5. Kate/swim so well 6. Paul/ earn so much money
Text Exercises
/. Ask ana answer questions on the
II. Speak on Ann’s adventure.
III. Did you ever have an experience like
that? Tell about it.
Conversation Practice
/. Listen to the conversations and
learn them: Booking Train Tickets

does the London
train leave, please?

9.25. Platform 3.

time does it reach London?

should be there at 11.31, but you may be a bit late.

Do I
have to change?

Yes. You
change at Lewes and East Croydon.
2. – Which train do I take for Victoria, please?


does it get in?
– It gets
there at 11.34.

Must 1
– No, it’s a
through train.
3. –
What time’s
the next train to Victoria,
– 9.26. Platform 4.

When do
we get there?
– It’s due at
11.35, but they’re running late today.
– Is it
necessary to change?

Change at East Croydon.
4. – Excuse me…

Yes. Can
I help you?
– Yes, I’d
like some information about trains, please.

Where to?

…to London.



or afternoon?
– In the
evening. About six o’clock.

one at 6.40.

5. – I want a
ticket to Bern,
please, second class.

or return?

– Sixty-five pounds, please. Five pounds change, thank

you tell me what time the next train is?

o’clock, platform 12. If you hurry you’ll just catch

//. Situation: You want to go to Kiev in a week. You phone
the railway booking-office and inquire about the time-table and tickets.
At the Railway Station
Jane: Hello, Mr Blake. We’re are not
late, are we’
Mr Blake:
Hello, Jane. No, you’re not late. I was a bit earlv
Jane: When does the train leave?
Mr Blake: It leaves at
four twenty-seven (4.27).
If we hurry,
we’ll be able to catch it. Jane: Is it an express?
Mr Blake: No, it’s a stopping train Jane: Shall I buy ihe tickets, Mr Blake?
Mr Blake: Oh,
yes, I forgot about them. There’s the booking-office. Jane: Do you know how much the fare is?
Mr Blake- Seventy-five pence (75 p) for a single
ticket and one
pound fifty for a return But ask for a weekend return.
That might be cheaper. And ask for a time-table, too.
You’ll need it on Sunday. Jane: All right. I’ll meet you at the entrance to the
Which platform is ours? Mr Blake: Platform sixteen.
I’ll take your suitcase. Which one’s
Jane: That one’s mine.
Mr Blake: Hurry. The train leaves at four
twenty-seven. (4.27) Jane: From platform sixteen?
Mr Blake: Yes.
Questions: When does the train leave? Is it an express or a stop ­ping
train? Who is going to buy the tickets? What is the fare? From what platform
does the train leave? Where do they agree to meet? Will Mr Blake help Jane with
her suitcase?
Listening Linda Goes to Liverpool
Linda found a seat in a compartment that was full of
middle-aged businessmen. One of them offered to put her case on the rack for
her. She politely told him she could do it herself. The man star ­ted talking to
her after she had sat down. She tried to avoid getting into a conversation but
it was impossible. He was one of those
boring types that go on talking even if
nobody is interested.
When she casually mentioned that she was going to Liverpool in order to do a report on the city, he began
telling her all about the place. Several hours went by. He talked and talked.
Linda hard ­ly said anything. Finally, the train got into Liverpool.
The man kept on talking until the very last minute. Linda got up to go. Just
then he invited her to a party. He said he would introduce her to all his
friends so that she could learn more about Liverpool Linda politely refused and
hurried out of the compartment She could still hear
the man’s voice. He was talking to someone else in the compartment and she
happened to catch a few words.
“Nice girl”, he was saying. “But you
know, she talked so much that I could hardly put in a
Questions: Who else was in the compartment? What did the man do
when Linda came in? What did Linda try to avoid? Why? Why was she going to Liverpool? What happened when she mentioned this? What
happened during the journey? What happened just after the train got into Liverpool?
Mark Twain in France
Mark Twain, the famous American writer, was travelling
in France.
Once he was going by train to Dijon.
That afternoon he was very tired and wanted to sleep. So he asked the conductor
to wake him up and put him off the train when they reached Dijon.
“I shall probably protest,” he said to the conductor, “because I am a heavy
sleeper, but do not pay any attention to that. Put me off the train
A few minutes later Mark Twain went to sleep. Later,
when he woke up, it was night and the train was already in Paris. He under ­stood that the conductor had
forgotten to wake him up in Dijon.
He was very angry. He ran up to the conductor and began to shout at him.
“I have never been so angry in my life”, he said. The conductor
looked at him calmly. “You are not half so angry
as the American whom I put off the train in Dijon.”
Questions: Where was Mark Twain travelling once? What did he ask
the conductor to do? What did he warn the conductor about? When did Mark Twain
wake up? He was very angry, wasn’t he? Why didn’t the conductor put him off the
train in Dijon?
A Vacant Seat
It was Sunday. The trains were crowded A man was
looking for a seat in a carriage. Suddenly he saw a vacant seat. But a small
suitcase lay on that seat and a well-dressed gentleman was
sitting next to it. “Is this seat
vacant?” asked the man. “No, it isn’t. It’s my friend’s seat. He will
soon come. He has gone out to buy some cigarettes,” the gentleman said.
“Well”, said the man. “I’ll sit here
till he comes.” Ten minutes later the train started but nobody came.
“Your friend is late”, said the man. “He has missed his train
but he mustn’t lose his suitcase.” With these words he took the suitcase
and threw it out of the win ­dow. The well-dressed gentleman got up and tried to
catch the suitcase. But it was too late. It was his suitcase and he had taken a
second seat for his own comfort.
Questions: What was the man looking for? Did he find a vacant
seat? What did the well-dressed gentleman say? What did the man decide to do?
What happened when the train started?
At the Station
Steve: I was waiting on the platform for the Bristol train when a lady asked me if I knew the time of
the next train to Oxford.
I often have to go to Oxford
myself, so I knew. A few minutes later a man wanted to know whether the train
for Bristol had
already left. I knew that it hadn’t so of course I told him. The man inquired
why the train from Birmingham
was late. I didn’t know but I told him it was usually because of the line
repairs. I couldn’t understand why all these people were asking me questions.
Then I noticed that I was standing next to a big sign that said:
“Information.” Questions: What train was Steve waiting for?
What questions was he asked? What did he answer? Why did people keep asking him
Seeing off
One evening three men came onto the platform and asked
the porter: “What time is the next train to Liverpool?”
The porter said: “You have just missed one. But they go every hour. The
next one is at 10 o’clock.” “That’s all right,” they said,
“we’ll go and have a drink.”
They went to the refreshment room. A minute or two
after 10 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
fast as they could. 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 because he was laughing. Then
he said to the porter: “Did you see those two men 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 here to
see me off!”
Questions: Why did the three men come to the station? How often
did the trains to Liverpool go? Where did the
three men go to kill the time before the journey? Did they catch the 10 o’clock
train? What happened a few minutes after 11 o’clock? What time was the last
train to Liverpool? Did the men catch it? Why
was the third man laughing?
My Uncle Tom
My uncle Tom worked on the
railway. It wasn’t a big station, it was a little place called Lowton Cross.
Only about two trains a day stopped there, and Tom was station-master, chief
porter all in one. In fact Tom did any work that came along. Lowton Cross was
the pride of his heart; the waiting-room was cleaned every day by the chief
cleaner (Tom); the chairs were polished by the chief polisher (Tom); and the
tickets were sold and collected by the chief ticket-collector (Tom) – sometimes
there were as many as four tickets a day – and the money was counted
every evening by the chief clerk (Tom)
That station was run well. Tom was very strict about
rules. He knew what a passenger was allowed to do and was not allowed to do. He
was there for 50 years and then he had to retire. There is no doubt that Tom
did his job well, in all the 50 years he never missed a single day. So the
railway company wanted to thank him for hib job. A man from the head office was
asked to go to Lowton Cross to do it.
Tom was thanked and was given a small cheque as a
present He was very pleased, of course, but he said to the man: “1 don’t
need the money. But can 1 have something that will remind me of the happy days
1 have spent in Lowton Cross?” The man asked him what he wanted.
“Well, sir, could the Company let me have a part of an old railway
carriage? It doesn’t matter how old or broken it is I want to put it in my
garden, and every day I can go and sit in it.”
About a week later a carriage was sent and was taken
into Tom’s garden. Tom worked at it, and it was cleaned and painted and
polished. Soon we went to see Tom. It was a bad day for a visit. It began to
rain as we got off the train, and by the time we got to Tom’s house it was
raining hard. We knocked but there was no answer. Tom wasn’t in the house. We
thought he was in his carriage. Sure enough, he was there, but he was not
sitting in his carriage, he was outside, on the step of the carriage smoking
his pipe. His head was covered with a sack. We asked him why he did not go
inside the carriage. “Can’t you see,” said Tom, “the carriage
they sent me was a non-smoker.”
Questions: Where did uncle Tom work? How
many trains a day stopped at the station? What kind of work did uncle Tom do? What did the Company do to thank Tom? What
present did uncle Tom want to receive? What present
was uncle Tom given? Who came to see uncle Tom once? What was the weather like that day? Where
did Tom’s relatives find him? What were they surprised at? Why didn’t Tom go
inside the carriage?
Reading 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 airliners.
Although we all agree that the future belongs to the
air trans ­port, the railway is still one of the most popular means of commu ­nication.
Of course, if people are short of time and have to travel a long distance they
usually travel by air. But if they have time they prefer to go by train.
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 and if the journey is long you can have a comfortab ­le bed in a
A big railway station is a very busy and interesting
place. Let’s imagine that we are at one of them.
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 ha-
ven’t got their tickets in advance are
waiting in queues at the booking-office. At the bookstalls people are choosing
books, maga ­zines and newspapers for the journey. At the cloak Рroom some
people are leaving and taking their luggage.
There are a lot of notices 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
If you don’t know the number of the platform from
which your train leaves, look for the notices 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
You will also see the notice 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.
Self check
/. Fill in the gaps with prepositions where
necessary: Mr Dobson is fond … travelling. He thinks there is nothing
like travel … board… the train.
Last week Mr Dobson went … Dublin … business. He travel ¬≠led… train.
He arrived … the station an hour … the departure. …his arrival… the
station he bought some newspapers and a magazine … the newsagent’s and went
… the waiting-room to wait… his train. He was reading a newspaper when he
heard the loudspeaker: “Attention, please! The train … Dublin is leaving … platform I.” Mr
Dobson put his newspaper … his briefcase, got up and went … his platform.
He found his carriage and boarded … the train. He had a comfortable night…
the train and reached … Dublin
… 8 a. m.
//. Translate into English:
– –Ē–ĺ–Ī—Ä—č–Ļ
– –Ē–ĺ–Ī—Ä—č–Ļ
–ī–Ķ–Ĺ—Ć. –ß–Ķ–ľ
–ľ–ĺ–≥—É –Ī—č—ā—Ć
– –ē—Ā—ā—Ć –Ľ–ł
–Ņ–ĺ–Ķ–∑–ī–į –Ĺ–į
– –Ē–į, –Ķ—Ā—ā—Ć
–ī–≤–į –Ĺ–ĺ—á–Ĺ—č—Ö
– –ö–ĺ–≥–ī–į
– –í 9 –ł 11
– –ö–ĺ–≥–ī–į
–≤ 9 —á–į—Ā–ĺ–≤,
–Ņ—Ä–ł–Ī—č–≤–į–Ķ—ā –≤
– –í 7
—á–į—Ā–ĺ–≤ —É—ā—Ä–į.
– –≠—ā–ĺ
–≤—Ä–Ķ–ľ—Ź –ľ–Ķ–Ĺ—Ź
–ē—Ā—ā—Ć –Ľ–ł –Ī–ł–Ľ–Ķ—ā—č
–Ĺ–į —ć—ā–ĺ—ā
– –Ē–į, –Ķ—Ā—ā—Ć
–Ņ–Ķ—Ä–≤–ĺ–≥–ĺ –ļ–Ľ–į—Ā—Ā–į.
– –ú–Ĺ–Ķ
Answer the
How often do you travel by train? Do you enjoy
travelling by train? Why/Why not? What do you like or
dislike about large stati ­ons? When did you last travel by train? Where did you
go? Did you book a ticket in advance? How much did it cost? Did you travel by
an express or a stopping train? You didn’t have to change trains did you? What
time did the train leave? When did you arrive at the station? Did you travel
light or heavy? What did you do after you boarded the train? Did you have a
lower or an upper berth? Which berth do you prefer? How much did the bedding
cost? How did you spend the time during the journey? Did you like the
conductor? Was he/she very helpful? Did you get off the train on your way to X?
When did the train arrive in X? How long did you stay in X? What was your
journey back like?
//. Speak on:
a) your last journey by train
b) the local railway station
///. Discuss the following:
1. A big
railway station is the best place to spend a spare hour.
2. There is
nothing like travelling by train.
Act out the following situations:
1. An English colleague of yours wants to go to Moscow to take part in an
exhibition. –Ě–Ķ/she asks you about trains to
Moscow. You’ve been to Moscow
many times and give him/her
all the necessary information.
2. You are on
business in London.
Soon you are going to return to your native country. You phone the
railway-booking agency to inquire about the time-table and tickets.
3. You are on
board the train Minsk-Moscow. There is an En ­glishman/Englishwoman in your
compartment. In an hour you are busy talking.
V. Write about
a journey by train that impressed you greatly.