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British Rail offers high standards of fast, comfortable and easy travel. The InterCity network services operate frequently (hourly or better on many routes).

New InterCity 225 services link London with Yorkshire, the North East and the east coast of Scotland in record time. It is now possible to travel from London King's Cross to Edinburgh in as little as 4 hours 05 minutes.

On most long-distance trains seats can be reserved in ad­vance, but it is rarely necessary except during holiday periods. Reserve when you get to Britain.

Most long-distance trains have both first and standard (econ­omy) class carriages and InterCity trains usually have a restau­rant and/or buffet car, serving hot meals, light snacks and drinks. Pullman trains offer luxury travel to the main business centers in Britain, with meal service at your seat available to first class ticket holders. Hundreds of stations also have cafes.

Overnight sleeping car-trains across the country are an ideal way to gain a day and save on hotel charges, with a supplemen­tary charge of $25 per journey, per berth for standard class, and $30 for a single compartment, first class. Reservations should be made well in advance.

If you only want to make a few journeys, single or return (round trip) tickets can be bought in Britain at any station, Brit­ish Rail Travel Centre or rail appointed travel agents. First class tickets cost about 50 per cent more than standard class. For many journeys, reduced price tickets (with limitations on times and day of travel) are often available at a considerable saving on ordinary fares. If you plan a lot of travelling, a bargain-buy is the BritRail Pass. This pass (which must be purchased from trav­el agents in your own country — it cannot be bought in Brit­ain) will give you unlimited travel on all scheduled British Rail services throughout England, Scotland and Wales.

If you are touring Europe and travelling between France and Britain, why not try the Channel Tunnel. Travelling by car on "Le Shuttle" between Calais and Folkestone, it takes only 35 minutes; or by train on the high speed "Eurostar" you'll reach London's Waterloo Station in as little as 3 hours, from either Paris or Brussels.


Comprehension questions:

1. What does British Rail offer?

2. Is it possible to travel from London King's Cross to Ed­inburgh in as little as 4 hours 05 minutes?

3. What kind of seats can be reserved in advance?

4. What kind of carriages have long-distance trains got?

5. What does a buffet car serve?

6. What is an ideal way to gain a day when travelling?

7. How can a traveller save on hotel charges?

8. How much does a berth for standard class cost?

9. What's the price of a single berth compartment, first class?

10. What is a bargain-buy if you plan a lot of travelling?

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