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Exercise 40 Match the terms in the left column with their definitions in the right column.

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  9. B. Match the definitions with the italicized words and phrases from the text.
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1. permanent way a) the distance between rails
2. rails b) the combination of rails, ties and ballast
3. gauge c) rails with reduced number of joints
4. sleepers (ties) d) the mechanism moving trains from one track to another
5. switch e) a track, having concrete cover, instead of ballast
6. joint f) the place where the ends of rails meet
7. ballast g) wooden supports for rails
8. slab track h) long steel bars on which trains run
9. CWR i) the support for the track structure

Exercise 41 Answer the following questions.

1. What is the origin of the term permanent way? 2. What elements does the permanent way consist of? 3. What is the difference between the modern railroad track and the track of the early days of railways? 4. What is the gauge? Where are the standard and the broad gauges used? 5. Why does crossing borders become a problem in some countries? 6. What is the weakest part of the track and why? 7. What is the switch intended for? 8. What does the weight of the rails laid in the track depend on? 9. Which rails are laid in the heavily used main lines? 10. How can we make wooden rails last longer? 11. Is ballast an important element of the track? Why is it important? 12. What advantages do continuous welded rails have? 13. Why do concrete sleepers replace the wooden ones? What are their strong points? 14. What other improvements in the track structure do you know? 15. For which lines is it suitable to use slab track with embedded rails? 16. How does the design of the slab track differ from that of the common ballasted track? 17. What are the advantages of the slab track?

Exercise 42 Choose one of the topics and make up a short story based on the text. Present it to the group.

1.The early and the modern railroad track (the right of way, permanent way, the basic feature, to consist of, wooden rails, to be replaced by iron rails, sleepers, to be not strong enough, to rest on granite blocks, to have no ballast).

2.Rails and ties(to be laid in the main lines, to weigh 60 kg to the metre, elimination of rail joints, CWR, to have greater strength, to provide smoother running at greater speeds, to support rails, to be treated with creosote, the greater weight of concrete sleepers).

3.Ballasted and ballastless track(a bed of crashed rock, to support the track structure, slab track, superstructure with embedded rails, to have advantages in terms of maintenance, to be laid in high-speed routes).


Exercise 43 Project a) Using Internet or any other source of information find something interesting and new about the construction of railroad track: new kinds of tracks, materials and fastenings. Make a good oral presentation with tables, photos, etc.

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