Modern Means of communication. Transport

Разделы: Иностранные языки

TOPIC 1. Transport

Unit 1 From the History of Invention Vehicles

1.1. Read the new words and find their translation

  1. Horseless carriage
  2. Description
  3. Council of Olympus
  4. Hero of Alexandria
  5. Hollow sphere
  6. Issue
  7. Jet of steam
  8. Anticipating
  9. Vehicles
  10. Bristle
  11. Lances
  12. Hurl
  13. Scythes
  14. Hurl
  15. Enemy
  16. Slopes
  17. Force of gravity
  18. Conceived
  19. Scholar
  20. Capable of propelling
  21. Entire crew
  22. Oarsmen
  23. To steer
  24. Endow
  25. Chariots
  26. Winged machines
  27. Long-sighted forecasts
  28. Suspicion
  29. Accused of magic
  30. Treatise

1.2. Read and translate the text.


The dream of the motor car, the “horseless carriage”, is perhaps as old, as man himself. We must go back through the centuries to find the first traces of the idea and the dream which was to become one of man’s greatest adventures. Some have found the first hints in Homer’s Iliad, in his description of Vulcan’s extraordinary creations in preparation for the Council of Olympus. Among them was a magic wheel of solid gold that responded automatically to the god’s commands.

Ideas with a more technical basis are found in the studies of Hero of Alexandria, who describes a machine of his own invention moving under its own power. This consisted of a hollow sphere out of which issued a jet of steam anticipating the principle of a modern jet engine.

We must return, however, to the time of Alexander the Great to find the first really self-moving vehicles. During his wars, large wagons were used, bristling with lances and scythes, which were hurled against the enemy down steep slopes by force of gravity.

The idea of a motor car was conceived as early as the 13th century by the great scholar Roger Bacon. He wrote: “One day we shall construct machines capable of the problem large ships at a speed, far superior to steer them. One day we shall endow chariots with incredible speed without the aid of any animal. One day we shall construct winged machines able to lift themselves into like birds”.

Such long-sighted forecasts could only arouse suspicion in those times, and Bacon spent 10 years of his live in prison, accused of magic and of pacts with the devil. The treatise containing the above passage was not published until 300 years after his death.

1.3. Answer the question to the text.

  1. Where can we find the first hints about ancient vehicles?
  2. When was the idea of a motor car conceived?
  3. Who conceived the idea of motor car?
  4. Why Bacon spent 10 years of his life in prison?

1.4. Find the equivalents in the text.

  1. Среди них было магическое колесо из чистого золота, которое автоматически отвечало на команды бога.
  2. Во время его войн использовались большие вагоны, оцепленные пиками и косами.
  3.  Идея автомобиля была представлена ещё в начале 13 века великим учёным Роджером Бэконом.
  4. Идея машины с мотором, «безлошадной повозки», вероятно, такая же древняя, как сам человек.
  5. Идеи с более техническими обоснованиями находятся в учениях Героя Александрии, который описал машину собственного изобретения, которая двигалась посредством его собственной силы.

UNIT 2. Means оf transport

2.1. Look through the text, tree what is the text about.

2.2. Read the text and translate it using a dictionary.


The development of transport facilities was very important in the growth of the United States. The first travel routes were natural waterways. No surfaced roads existed until the 1790s, when the first highways were built. Besides the overland roads, many canals were constructed between the late 18th century and 1850 to link navigable rivers and lakes in the eastern United States and in the Great Lakes region.

Steam railways began to appear in the East in the 1820s. The first transcontinental railway was constructed between 1862 and 1869 by the Union Pacific and Central Pacific companies, both of which received large subsidies from the federal government. Transcontinental railways were the chief means of transport used by European settlers who populated the West in the latter part 19th century. The railways continued to expand until 1917, when their length reached a peak of about 407,000 km. Since then motor transport became a serious competitor to the railway both for passengers and freight.

Air transport began to compete with other modes of transport after World War I. Passenger service began to gain importance in 1920s, but not until the beginning of commercial jet craft after World War II did air transport become a leading mode of travel/

During the early 1990s railways annually handled about 37.5 per cent of the total freight traffic; trucks carried 26 per cent of the freight, and oil pipelines conveyed 20 per cent.

Private cars carry about 81 per cent of passengers. Airlines are the second leading mover of people, carrying more than 17 per cent of passengers. Buses are responsible for 1.1 per cent, and railways carry 0.6 per cent of passengers.

2.3. Answer following questions using the text.

  1. What were the first routes in the US?
  2. When was the first transcontinental railway constructed?
  3. When did air transport start to gain importance?
  4. How many motor vehicles were registered in US in early 90s?
  5. What is Amtrak? How many passengers did it carry annually in the early 90s?

2.4. Find equivalents in the text.

  1. С этих пор авиатранспорт стал серьёзным конкурентом дороге.
  2. Авиатранспорт начал конкурировать с другими видами транспорта после Второй Мировой Войны.
  3. Первыми туристическими маршрутами были естественные водные пути.
  4. Частные машины перевозят 81 пассажира.

2.5. Choose the proper word

  1. We can travel through the air by ________.
  2. _______ are the first leading mover of people.
  3. _______ is still one of the cheapest ways of hauling freight over long distances.
  1. railway transport;
  2. airplane;
  3. private cars.

UNIT 3. Motor cars

3.1. Discuss the following questions.

  1. Does your family have a car?
  2. How often do you use the car?
  3. Which form of transport is the cheapest in your country?

3.2. Read the text


The British love their cars: over 66 per cent of families own one or more cars and 23 per cent have the use of two or more. Statistics show that people are using their cars more. In 1965, people in Britain traveled 70 miles (112 kilometers) a week by car. In 1990, people traveled an average of 124 miles (200 kilometers) a week by car. According to the Department of Transport, traffic on all roads will double during the next 30 years.

It is not surprising that the car is becoming increasingly popular. If you want to travel from London to Oxford by train, a return ticket for one person costs four times as much as the petrol for a car which can take you and three friends.

Road safety.

In spite of having such dense traffic, Britain has one of the lowest number of road deaths in Europe. There are a number of reasons for this: seat-belts must be worn by both drivers and all passengers; there are strict rules against drinking and driver and there is speed limit of 70 miles per hour on motorways. A large number of the people at risk from car accidents are pedestrians, especially the very young and the elderly

3.3. Using the text chose the best way to travel for the following people. Give reasons for your answers.

  1. A sixteen-year old has to get to school every morning and there is no bus service.
  2. Four students want to go to Oxford from London. One them has a car.
  3. A student who lives in London wants to go to a big party

3.4. Learn grammar material.

Причастие (Participle I)

Причастие I (причастие настоящего времени), образованное при помощи окончания -ing, имеет активную и страдательную формы: активная (несовершенный вид) — asking, активная (совершенный вид) — having asked, страдательная (несовершенный) — being asked, страдательная (совершенный) — having been asked.

Причастие I употребляется в функции:

  1. Определения:
    The man sitting at the table is our teacher. — Человек, сидящий за столом — наш учитель.
    The houses being built in our town are not very high. — Дома, строящиеся в нашем городе, невысок!
  2. Обстоятельства:
    Going home I met an old friend. — Идя, домой, я встретил старого друга.
    Having finished work I went home. — Закончив работу, я пошел домой.

Причастие II (Participle II)

Причастие II (причастие прошедшего времени) всегда пассивно. Образуется оно прибавлением суффикса -ed коснове правильного глагола или путем чередования звуков в корне неправильного глагола.

Причастие II употребляется в функции:

  1. Определения.
    The book translated from English is interesting. — Книга, переведенная с английского языка, интересная.
  2. Обстоятельства (причины и времени):
    Given the task he began to work. — Когда ему дали задание он начал работать.

Present Participle = participle I

Past Participle = participle II

3.5. Transform the following sentences using participle phrases.

Model: The boys who live in this house formed a football team. — The boys living in this house formed a football team.

  1. The man who is making the report is our teacher.
  2. The woman who teaches English at our school lived in our village.
  3. The boys who are playing hockey live in our house.
  4. The man who sells newspaper showed me the way to the past-office.

UNIT 4. Water transport

4.1. Questions for discussion

  1. What kinds of water transport do you know?
  2. Have you ever traveled by sea?

4.2. Read the following text, give it the title, and translate it.

There are many different types of ships, ranging from the modern luxury liners to the passenger-carrying freighters. Luxury liners resemble the best five star hotels. They are designed for comfort and entertainment. They have elegant state-rooms equipped with all modern facilities such as sun decks, bars, restaurants, music rooms, libraries, waiting rooms, card rooms, gyms, heated swimming pools, barber and beauty shops, duty-free shopping centers, laundry and medical services, etc. The captain usually gives a Welcome Abroad Party at the beginning of the voyage and final Farewell Party at the end of the voyage. Food and service on good liners are of the highest quality of course. Passengers are free to choose the type of activity to their liking. Some of them participate in an active life of deck, sports and shipboard recreation; frequently drop in bars for a drink or a bite. Others choose quiet rest and relaxation away from noisy places. This type of holiday making is very comfortable and can even be called luxurious. But not everybody can afford it as it is rather expensive.

4.3. Answer the questions to the text

  1. What types of ships are there?
  2. What facilities are there on luxury liners?
  3. Traveling by liners is the cheapest way of traveling, isn’t it?

4.4. Read the statements and guess their meanings

1) Ferry

a) boat that trawls the net

2) Tanker

b) ship with strong curved bows used for breaking a passage through ice

3) Trawler

c) sea-going vessel of considerable size

4) Ice-breaker

d) large flat-bottomed boat for carrying goods and people on rivers and canals with or without sails. Towed by a tug or horse; similar boat with its own engine

5) Barge

e) place where there is a boat, hovercraft that carries people and goods across a river


f) ship with tanks for carrying petroleum as freight

4.5. Read the dialogue

David: Is this the right way to the first-class cabins?

Sailor: First-class straight ahead and then right, please.

Susan: When do we sail?

Sailor: In half an hour without any delay.

Susan: Thanks. Please, put those things in cabin 25, first class, and that box over there goes into the hold.

Sailor: That suit has been labeled for the hold, too.

David: That must have been done by mistake. We’d rather have it with us in the cabin.

Sailor: As you say. I’ll see to it.

UNIT 5. City transport

5.1. Questions for discussing

  1. What kind of transport in a city do you know?
  2. What is the most convenient kind of city transport?

5.2. Look through the new words. Guess their meaning

Electric railway; Tram; Trolleybus; Bus; Double-decker; Coach; Metro, underground, subway.

How do you think what do these words mean in general?

5.3. Match the words and their meanings

1. Tram

a) Public conveyance, that travels along a fixed route and takes up and sets down

2. Trolley

b)small low truck running on rails

3. Coach

c) public transport powered by electricity on rails in the road surface

4. Cab/Taxi

d) long-distance, single-decked bus; it goes to more remote or isolated places

5. Bus

e) motor-car which may be hired for journeys, also has a device which automatically records the fare during a journey

5.4. Read the text and translate it.

London taxis drive round the centre of the city looking for customer. Taxis are often called cabs, from French cabriolet, which is a nineteenth-century word for a coach drawn by a horse.

Traditional taxi-drivers, or cabbies, are proud of their knowledge of London. They have to know every street in the 113 square miles of central London and spend up to four years learning the best routes. To get their license, they have to pass a series of tests, known as The Knowledge, until they are absolutely accurate in their answers. Because of this long training period, cabbies are often angry that people can drive minicabs without a license. Minicabs look like normal cars, do not have meters and cannot pick up people in the street: people have to phone for one.

5.5. Put each of the following words or phrases in its places the passage below.

Sliding doors


Conductor fare




Bus stop

Rush hour









Taxi rank










A taxi, sometimes called a 1________is the most comfortable way to travel. You simply 2______the taxi in the street or go to a 3________ , where there are several taxis waiting, for example at a station. At the end of your journey, you can see how much the 4_____ is by looking at the 5_____. You add a 6_______ to this, and that’s it. Very simple. But expensive!

What about taking a bus? If it has two floors, it’s called a 7___________ and you can get a good view from the top. If it has only one floor, it’s called a 8_______. Most buses have a two-person 9_______: the 10________, who drives, of course, and the 11________, who takes your money. Keep your ticket because an 12_________ might want to 13____ it. You catch a bus by waiting at a 14_____. You can see where a bus is going because the 15_______ is written on the front. But try to avoid the 16_____.

Quicker than the bus is the underground called the 17_______ in London, the 19______ in Paris. You buy your ticket at the ticket office. Go down to the 20______ on the 21________ or in the 22_______. The train comes. The 23_____ open. You get on. You look at the map of the underground system. It’s very simple.

For longer distances take a train or a long-distance bus, usually called a24_______, which is slower but cheaper? The train is very fast. Put your luggage on the 25____ and sit and wait till your arrive.

UNIT 6. Air transport.

6.1. Questions for discussing.

  1. How do you think what means of transport is the fastest?
  2. What means of transport is the safest?
  3. What kinds of aviation air transport do you know?

6.2. Vocabulary

to ellapse4
to enjoy
to provide
to complement
to patrol
to assess
to take off

большая дорога
проходить (о времени)
наслаждаться, пользоваться, обладать
снабжать, обеспечивать
быстрый, скорый
транспортное средство
патрулировать, обходить дозором
строевой лес
жатва, урожай; собирать урожай
ценность, стоимость

6.3. Read and translate the text.


During the years which have elapsed since A. Mozhaisky built his first airplane in 1885, aviation has enjoyed progress.

At present the state of the art of aviation is such that it influences many aspects of social life.

In the dynamic world of today, aviation provides a rapid transportation link between different population centers, complementing a road and rail transportation network. In many places the airplane is the only known vehicle for the large-scale movement of passengers and freight over the large distances. The airplane has made possible to patrol the forests effectively, to fight their fires, to assess their timber resources and to plan their harvesting. It has made an enormous contribution to the photographing and mapping of the vast territories, to exploring and prospecting for mineral wealth and assessing water resources.

As for the helicopter, this type of aircraft has proved its value in special applications where vertical or near vertical take-off, landing and vertical load lifting mere required.

6.4. Find in the text Participle I

6.5. Find in the text sentences where Gerund is used.

6.6. Answer the questions to the text.

  1. Who constructed the first airplane?
  2. When was the first airplane constructed?
  3. What is airplane used for?
  4. What is helicopter used for?

UNIT 7. Railway transport

7.1. Questions for discussion

  1. What do you know about railway transport in our country?
  2. What kinds of railway transport do you know?

7.2. Look through the new words. Guess their meaning.

box car
double-deck car
flat car
gondola car
hopper car
refrigerator car
tank car
passenger car
freight car

грузовой вагон
пассажирский вагон
рефрижераторный вагон
полувагон, вагон Генделя
двухъярусный вагон
общий вагон
крытый вагон

7.3. Learn the new words from this list.

total freight traffic
decisive role
annually carry
manganese ores
keep rates down

общие грузовые перевозки
решающая роль
совершенно необходимый
ежегодная перевозка
марганцевые руды
минеральное удобрение
уменьшать расценки
спрос, требование

7.4. Look through the text and tell what the text is about.

Railways of Russia are the key transportation mode of the country. Carrying more than 80 per cent of the total freight traffic and more than 40 per cent of the passenger freight traffic.

The railways play decisive role in the transportation of the cargoes which are indispensable for stable functioning of the industrial complex. In particular, the railways annually carry:

  1. 98.6 per cent of the iron and manganese ores;
  2. 92.3 per cent of ferrous metals;
  3. 87.2 per cent of coal and coke;
  4. 88.1 per cent of chemical and mineral fertilizers

Operating length of the Russian railways is 86,000 km of which more than 36,300 km is double or multi track, 62,000 km is signaling equipped. The length of electrified routes is 40,300 km. The Russian railways presently employ more than 1.3 million workers.

Russia ranks second in the world (after the USA) in railway track length; third (after the USA and China) in the volume of freight traffic; third in passenger traffic (after China and Japan). 

Stabilization of social and economic situation in Russia, keeping freight railway rates down have had a positive impact on the level of industrial production. This in turn contributed to the rise in demand for the freight transportation, whereas a relatively low level of passenger rates created a necessary base for the growth of passenger traffic.

Implementation of the measures aimed at the increase in transportation efficiency brought about an improvement of the principal performance indices, characterizing the quality of work of the railway transport.

7.5. Give the title to the text.

7.6. Answer the questions to the text.

  1. What is a percentage of the freight traffic in Russia?
  2. What is a percentage of the passenger traffic?
  3. What do the railways annually carry?
  4. What is the operating length of the Russian railways?
  5. What place in railway track length does Russia rank?

7.7. Make a plan to the text.

7.8. Retell the text according to your plan.

7.9. Translate the text from English into Russian.

Russia stretches across two continents, from the Pacific Ocean to the Baltic Sea. Because of the large territory and population, the highly developed industry and agriculture, great growth of the people’s culture the curry needs widely developed transport system.

Railways are the most important form of transport in Russia. There are geographic and economic reasons for that. 80 per cent of the population live in natural resources is in the East. In Russia there are no seas and rivers which can be navigable all the year through. Building motorway and pipelines is expensive because of the large territory of the country. In some parts climatic conditions are so se4vere that only railways can operate in any season of the year.

In addition to these factors railway greater efficiency compared to motor and air transport. Russia holds the first place in the world for the rate of electrification and for the total length of electrified lines. The freight carrying capacity of Russia railways is 6-7 times more than that of railways of Russia or the developed countries of Europe taken together.

Unit 8. First railways in Russia

8.1. Look through the text and tell what the text is about. Give the title to the text.

The beginning of railway construction in Russia may be traced as far back as the second half of the 18th century, when the country was awakening from the long slumber of the Middle Ages.

Road building became closely connected with the development of the mining industry. Among the numerous works built in the Urals the most important and the best equipped ones were the Kalivan-Voskresensk works. It was at those works that the first tram-ways in Russia were laid down to link the mines and the works.

K.D. Frolov, a highly trained foreman, was engaged in the construction of the tracks, and great ability and zeal were displayed by him in that work.

Later on, in 1769, Frolov succeeded in mechanizing transportation within the shops of the works.

The next very important step was taken by A.S. Yartsev, manager of the Alexander Gun works in Petrozawodsk, who suggested that cast iron rails should be used instead of trams. Accordingly7 in 1788 a railway 173.5 m long was constructed to meet the needs of the works.

Another line with cast iron rails was constructed in the Altai Mountains by engineer R.K. Frolov, son of K.D. Frolov, in 1809. Its length was 1,867 m. Its technical equipment was much superior to the equipment of all the railways built in the Urals at that time.

The first steam locomotive in Russia was constructed by the Cherepanovs, father and son, who were considered to the most skilled and most talented workmen of their time.

The first railway in Russia using steam traction was put into operation at the Nizhniy Tagil metallurgical works. It was a short distance line covering only 854 m. It is to the Cherepanovs that Russia owes the right to be placed among the countries which were the first to use steam as tractive power.

Some four years later, in 1837, the inauguration of the St. Petersburg – Tsarskoe Selo railway took place.

That very important railway line, which was 27 km, was soon followed, in 1851, by the construction of the St. Petersburg – Moscow line, 644 km in length. That was a first-class double-track railway line, which linked two large industrial and cultural centers – Moscow and St. Petersburg; 185 bridges and 19 viaducts were erected to make the line as straight and level as possible. P.P. Melnikov and N. O. Kraft, prominent engineers, were in charge of the construction work.

8.2. Find equivalents in the text:

  1. Первая железная дорога, использующая паровую тягу, начала свою работу на Нижнетагильском металлургическом комбинате.
  2. Строительство стало тесно связанным с развитием добывающей промышленностью
  3. Первый паровой локомотив в России был построен отцом и сыном Черепановыми
  4. Это была короткая линия длинной 854 м.

8.3. Answer the questions to the text:

  1. When did the railway constructions in Russia begin?
  2. What was K.D. Frolov?
  3. Who suggested using cast iron rails instead of trams?
  4. What was the length of the St. Petersburg – Moscow line?
  5. What was made for making the St. Petersburg – Moscow line as straight as possible?

UNIT 9. The Great Siberian Route

9.1. Match the words and their translations

carry out



Дальний восток













to extend








to put unto operation




to approach



приводить в действие

Far East




9.2. Read and translate the text

Among the railways built during the last quarter of the 19-th century the Great Siberian Route should be mentioned.

In the fifties N. Muraviov-Amursky, general governor in the Far East, was the first to raise the question of the Siberian route. But it was not until February 1891 that the railways builders began to carry out a broad program for constructing the line.

The foundation stone of the South Ussurisky section was laid in Vladivostok The 404 km section, extending from Vladivostok to Uman and following the valley of Usury river formed the first link of the Great Siberian Route. Later, in 1893 the laying of the track begun from the western end of the Siberian Route. These two sections were put into operation in 1896. The central section from the Ob river to Irkutsk was completed in 1899.

The further development of the railway construction was stopped for a time, when builders approached the Baikal Lake, one of the greatest lakes in the world. It was very expensive to construct the line round the lake, so it was decided to lay the track from the opposite end of the lake and organize the temporary conveying of cars on floats.

In 1901 heavy work round the southern part of the Baikal was resumed. To construct this section was a particularly difficult problem because of the deep gorges, wide ravines and almost perpendicular rocks. But railway engineers have done their best to select a route which would cost minimum hard work.

9.3. Find the equivalents in the text.

  1. Дальнейшее строительство железной дороги было приостановлено на время.
  2. Позже в 1893 укладка пути началась от западного конца Сибирского маршрута.
  3. Было очень дорого строить дорогу вокруг озера.
  4. Было трудной проблемой построить эту часть из-за глубоких ущелий, широких оврагов и почти отвесных скал.

9.4. Find in the text sentences used in Passive Voice and translate them.

9.5. Define the function of Participle and translate the sentences.

  1. The men staying in the cabin is our conductor.
  2. Locomotives being designed at that plant are very powerful.
  3. Driving the car I saw a friend of mine.
  4. The plant being built in our town will produce refrigerators.

9.6. Answer the questions to the text.

  1. Who was the first to raise the question of the Siberian route?
  2. Where was the foundation stone of the South Ussurisky section laid?
  3. When was the central section completed?