Boarding the Train

by Liliya Filonyuk

Modern life is impossible without travelling. A lot of people like travelling by train because it combines speed, comfort and pleasure. If you want to travel on a train you should do some steps to board it.

Firstly, you must buy a ticket. You can do it on-line, on the phone or stay in a queue near the booking-office.

When you have a ticket you get to the railway station. You can get there by buss, by taxi or on foot if it is not far and you don't have much luggage.

If you come at the railway station in advance and have a lot extra time you can wait for your train in the waiting room or have a snack in a buffet.

At the railway station you find out about the track, the platform and the train number at the information bureau, at the departure boards or from the loudspeaker system.

When your train arrives you find your carriage. The carriages can be numbered from a head of the train or from its tail. You go to your carriage, show your ticket to the conductor, board the train and find your berth. The berth can be upper or lower one. When the number of a seat is an even one, it's an upper berth, if the number is odd one,the berth is lower. Then you put your luggage under one of the lower berths.

During your travelling by train you can read newspapers or books, drink tea or coffee, communicate with your neighbours, eat, sleep or look out of the window.

Follow-up questions:

  1. Do you like travelling by train? Why do you like it?
  2. What are the advantages and the disadvantages of travelling by train?
  3. How often do you travel by train?
  4. Do you travel by train abroad or around your native country?
  5. Do you prefer to buy tickets beforehand or on the very day of your travel?
  6. Do you like/hate standing in a queue near the booking-office?
  7. How do you get to the railway station? Do you get there by buss, taxi or on foot?
  8. Do you come to the railway station in advance or at the last moment before the train departure?
  9. Do you prefer a carriage with compartments, a third-class sleeper or a sleeping car?
  10. Are you a bit confused when you don't find your carriage?
  11. Do you feel confident or insecure at the railway station?
  12. Who do you like travelling by train with? Do you prefer to travel alone, with your friends or with a member of your family?
  13. Do you prefer to occupy upper berth or lower one? Why do you prefer it?
  14. Are you afraid of travelling on the upper berth? Why?
  15. Do you like travelling by train at night or during the day?
  16. Do you take some food with you or buy it when the train makes stops?
  17. What food do you prefer to take with you?
  18. Is it interesting for you who your fellow travelers are?
  19. What do you do during your travelling? Do you communicate with your neighbours?
  20. Do you leave your carriage or stay in it at the train stations?

Tense focused questions

  1. Are you well-organized and confident or a bit confused when you board the train?
  2. Are you delighted with travelling by train?
  3. Are you an excellent company for your fellow travelers?
  4. Are you ever polite with the conductor of your train?
  5. How often do you travel by train?
  6. Do you enjoy travelling by train? Why?
  7. What do you like or dislike about large stations?
  8. What do you do at the railway station before boarding the train?
  9. Who do you like travelling by train with?
  10. How do you buy the tickets? Do you book the tickets in advance?
  11. Do you book a single or return ticket?
  12. Do you pay by the credit card, by check or cash?
  13. When did you last travel by train? Where did you go?
  14. When did you arrive at the railway station?
  15. How did you get to the railway station?
  16. Who helped you to get to the railway station?
  17. Did you travel light or heavy?
  18. What did you do after you boarded the train?
  19. Did you like the conductor? Was he (she) very helpful?
  20. Did you have a lower or an upper berth? Which berth do you prefer? Why?
  21. Did you get off the train on the stops?
  22. How did you spend the time during the journey?
  23. Have you ever reserved your ticket by phone or by Internet?
  24. Have you ever returned your ticket to the booking office? Why did you do it?
  25. Have you ever leftanything in your carriage? What was it? Was it important? Where did you remember about it?
  26. Have you ever had a conflict with a conductor (your fellow traveler)? What was the reason for your conflict?
  27. Have you ever paid for the bedding on the train? How much did the bedding cost?
  28. Have you ever dreamt about a train trip around the world? How long have you been dreaming about it?
  29. Where are you going to travel by train this year? When? Why?
  30. Will you travel for pleasure or on business?

Descriptive ideas:

  1. There is nothing like travelling by train.
  2. What does the most comfortable carriage look like?
  3. What is the perfect conductor on the train like?
  4. Who are the best/ worst fellow travellers?

Role play:

Conflicting. You are travelling by train with your child. You’ve got an upper berth. You want to exchange your place (berth) with your fellow traveler from the lower one. But he (she) is afraid of height. Give reasonable arguments to him (her) that it’s more necessary for you to take the lower berth.

Controversial ideas:

  1. Children until 16 shouldn’t travel by train alone (without any adults).
  2. There should be a special baggage room in every carriage.
  3. People shouldn’t show their passports while boarding the train.
  4. People shouldn’t smoke at the platform of a train carriage but only during the stops of the train.

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