At the railway station

by Victoria Shevchuk

Nowadays people have various means of transport at their disposal. But when I really desire to enjoy my travelling to the point of destination I always choose train. In my opinion, train is the most comfortable mean of transport among all the others. Although planes are faster and some people confirm they are more convenient, however, the railway is still one of the most popular means of travel. First of all, the railway tickets are cheaper. In addition to this there are people who don't like flying and enjoy travelling by train more than by plane.

When I arrive at a railway station, I look for departures and arrivals boards to choose the train with a certain direction and convenient departure time. The second step is buying a ticket. I usually book it in advance but if I haven't bought it earlier I wait in a queue at the booking-office. I buy a single ticket with a place in the third compartment. To avoid long queues you may also buy ticket at the automated ticket machines which some railway stations contain. Although on some lines tickets are sold on board of the train.

When I have enough time before the departure of the train or when I just plan a short stopover I have a great opportunity to go on a short trip around the city. In such a case I should look for luggage locker to deposit my heavy suitcases in a safe and secure place. Sometimes I pay for porters to carry over my baggage to the luggage locker. But when I am not in mood for sightseeing I just stay at the railway station.

Many railway stations include a shop or convenience store and larger stations usually have restaurant facilities. So I can easily spend a couple of hours in a restaurant or fast-food. After that I can choose books, magazines and newspapers for the journey at the bookstall. Except these facilities railway stations include waiting rooms where you can relax until it is time to board your train. I dislike staying in the waiting rooms as it's always so boring. To spend a few hours in the waiting room you need a train ticket, in other cases you have to pay for entrance to the waiting room.

If I don't know the time or the platform my train leaves from I'll go to the inquiry office or the information bureau. If you've lost something you need to find lost property office. A lost and found or lost property is an office where people can go to retrieve lost articles that may have been found by others. 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.

When it's time to board the train I go to the platform where my train is standing ready to leave. There are lots of people on the platforms. Some passengers are getting out, others are getting in. I board my train and enjoy travelling to the point of destination.

Follow-up questions:

  1. What facilities do various railway stations offer?
  2. Where do you buy train ticket?
  3. Do you book the ticket in advance or buy it directly at the booking-office?
  4. Have you ever missed your last train? If so, how did you get home?
  5. Have you ever had some funny situations at the railway station?
  6. In what way can you retrieve lost articles at the railway station?
  7. How can you spend the time waiting for the departure of train?
  8. Do you like travelling by train? If so, why do you like it?
  9. Do you leave your suitcases at the luggage locker at the railway station?
  10. How often do you travel by train?
  11. Where do you go when you don't know the time or the platform your train leaves from?
  12. How do you like to sit in train: face to direction or back to direction?
  13. Do you like travelling in compartment?
  14. Do you remember the biggest railway station where you have ever been?

Tense focused questions

  1. Which is better – the train or the car?
  2. Is the train system in your country good?
  3. Is travelling by train really important in your country?
  4. Are you afraid of travelling by train?
  5. Which facilities / services are the most important for you at the railway station?
  6. Are railway stations of good quality in your country?
  7. Which city in Ukraine has the best railway station? Why do you think so?
  8. Do you like railway stations?
  9. Do you like long-distance train journeys?
  10. Do you ever worry about train safety or safety at the railway stations?
  11. Do you like all the facilities that our local railway station includes?
  12. Do you have any “train stories”?
  13. How often do you use different facilities which are offered at the railway station?
  14. What do you like or dislike about railway stations?
  15. What do you do when you have enough time before the departure of the train?
  16. What do you usually do on a train?
  17. Have you ever queued for a long time to buy a train ticket?
  18. Have you ever forgotten to take your baggage away from the luggage locker?
  19. Have you ever missed your train?
  20. Have you ever lost your suitcase at the railway station?
  21. What strange people have you come across on a train?
  22. What will railway stations be like in the future?
  23. Will you spend a few hours in the waiting room or sightseeing before the departure of the train?
  24. How could trains be made better?
  25. Would you like to go on a long journey on a steam train?
  26. How would you rather buy a ticket – in advance or at the booking-office?

Descriptive ideas

  1. What does the most comfortable and appealing railway station look like?
  2. Which additional modern facilities should railway stations contain in order to be up to standard / to meet European standards?
  3. Which the worst train can you imagine? Describe in detail all the conditions of this journey.
  4. What will the trains look like in the future? Give a detailed characteristic of comfort and convenience, speed etc.

Role plays


You’ve booked your ticket online in advance but you’ve forgotten to print it out before your train journey. Now you’re at the railway station without any Internet connection. What will you do?


You’ve locked your suitcase in the safe at the railway station. You decided to

take it away before the departure of the train but you realized that

you’d forgotten your password to open the safe.


You’re going to have a long train journey with your friend. You have a lot of money to burn and persuade your friend to choose first-class compartment instead of second class carriage to reach the destination with all the conveniences. But your friend blames you for extravagance. What are you going to do?

Controversial ideas

  1. Travelling by train is of very poor quality in our country.
  2. Ukrainian railway stations should be improved to meet European standards.
  3. Advantages and disadvantages of up to date trains.

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