Учебно-методический комплекс по дисциплине Иностранные языки

НазваниеУчебно-методический комплекс по дисциплине Иностранные языки
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ТипУчебно-методический комплекс
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II часть


1. FUTURE OF RAILWAYS (2000 п.зн.)

Until recently many people were of the opinion that the railways had reached the limit of their improvement. Yet the Japanese and French railways were the first to prove that they were wrong. In these countries trains are normally run at speeds of 240-270 km/hr, while in the FRG the Experimental High Speed train ICE reached a record speed of 406 km/hr. All this caused a dramatic change in favour of the railways. It was for the first time that passengers are preferring the train to the plane. This experience is now made use of in many countries.

The drive for effective ways of developing railways is going on in an ever growing number of countries. Many railway lines in Russia handle 100 and even more trains a day. In Russia on an average the annual tonnage of lines of the network is 26 million gross tons per kilometer of tracks. The through-put capacity of modern large classification yards in Canada, the FRG and in a number of other countries is as high as 8000-10000 wagons per day. In the USA running 20000 ton trains has become normal practice. The railway networks of Asia and African countries are expanding. Automating and mechanizing of basic operations have become standard practice on most of the railways.

In the eighties and nineties of the last century many countries of Europe and America celebrated the 150* anniversary of their railways. Among railway experts the historical aspects of railways have arouse great interest. The railways have passed through the period of accelerated expansion of the railway networks, that was a period when 20000 km of lines were built every year. Over the last 30 years the mileage of railway networks even shrank. Super steam locomotives rated at 5000 h.p. and developing a pressure of 15 to 16 bars were replaced by electric and diesel electric locomotives.

The carrying capacity of wagons increased constantly and the mass of rails went up steadily as well. Automatic brakes and the automatic coupling have become an indispensable part of rolling stock designs. Modern passenger coaches have become more comfortable and spacious.

What will come next? What are the railways in the XXIst century?

Forecasts are always of a relative nature. Yet, it will not run any risk of committing a mistake when saying that the railways still have a long life to live. What is needed is to keep pace with time, that is the railways have to make use of all most modern scientific and technical achievements.

forwarding — перевозка грузов

commuter traffic — пригородное движение

throughput capacity — пропускная способность

classification yard — сортировочная станция

bar — бар (единица давления)

carrying capacity — провозная способность

rolling stock — подвижной состав

automatic coupling — автосцепка

to keep pace with — не отставать


(100th ANNIVERSARY) (3000 п.зн.)

The world's first transcontinental railroad was completed in North America in 1869, when the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific were joined. But Russia's Trans-Siberian Railroad, whose construction started 20 years later, was a much more ambitious project in incomparably more difficult natural conditions.

Siberia covers nearly a quarter of Asia. It is a land of mighty rivers, endless swamps and high mountains. The idea of building a railroad through this wilderness emerged in the mid-19th century. The first relatively small railroad line was built in Siberia in 1885.

It was not until the 1890s that the question of building the Trans-Siberian acquired a practical ring. This period was a time when the state was increasing its influence in the area of railroads. From the outset the Trans-Siberian was a government undertaking financed from the state budget. The whole project was supervised by the Siberian Railway Committee set up for the purpose. An important part in its initiation was played by the prominent Russian statesman Sergei Witte.

The railroad was built in stages. May 1, 1891, is regarded as the official start of the construction project.

The first section, Chelyabinsk-Ob, was relatively easy, requiring little excavation work. Construction proceeded at record-breaking rates. To overcome the shortage of manpower, the committee bought steam shovels abroad. The West Siberian part of the Trans-Siberian Railroad was completed in 1895, having taken just over three years to build. Meanwhile work on the central part had started in 1893 in two places, the Ob and the Yenisei, and construction moved east from both sites. This part proved to be far more difficult with huge trees, swamps and mountains. For the first time engineers encountered permafrost, which they did not yet know how to deal with. Embankments and bridge suppors collapsed. There was also a shortage of lumber for sleepers, since the taiga forest could not be used to produce quality sleepers. Delivery of rails, sleepers and other things needed for the construction was largely carried out through the Arctic Ocean and up Siberian rivers. One of the first vessels to make the difficult trip flew a Russian flag but was commanded by British polar explorer Joseph Wiggins. Eventually 27 vessels delivered materials for the Trans-Siberian.

The number of workers employed in the project ranged from 10000 at the start to 100000 at the peak of the work. Many of the workers were convicts sent to Siberia for various crimes. Among the engineers was the prominent writer Garin-Mikhailovsky, who, incidentally, was attacked by the press for bypassing the city of Tomsk. He successfully defended himself by referring to the fact to have Tomsk on the line the length of the Trans-Siberian would have had to be extended for a distance that was greater than the branch linking the main line to the city. Indeed, the main consideration in plotting the route was to make it as short as possible. As a result, even the capital of Siberia, Tobolsk, was not on the Trans-Siberian. The decisions made in routing the line had a decisive impact on the further development of cities. Thus, both Omsk and Krasnoyarsk flourished following the construction of the railroad.

Work on the line from Lake Baikal to Sretensk (which stood on a navigable river eventually falling into the Amur) was started in 1895, this time from both sides. But in the summer of 1897 the natural elements came into play. An unprecedented flood swept away settlements that had existed for hundreds of years, and a good deal of the railroad already constructed was destroyed. Grain harvests perished as a result of an ensuing drought, and there was famine. Nevertheless, the Baikal-Sretensk line was completed in 1900.

In view of Russia's increasingly close relations with China, it was decided to extend the Trans-Siberian line via Manchuria instead of Khabarovsk. Negotiations started in 1895 and a concession was agreed upon. But the Russo-Chinese conflict of 1900 stopped construction, and much of the completed line was destroyed. After the end of the conflict, the railroad was restored and finally put into operation.

Although October 1901 is often regarded as the date of the completion of the Trans-Siberian, work on the railroad continued. There were several more lines that had to be completed for the railroad to function effectively. One of the most difficult projects was to lay a line around Lake Baikal. Previously the trains were ferried across the lake on two icebreakers that had been disassembled and brought to the lake by rail. In winter, when the ice was firm, freight and passengers were taken over the ice in horse-drawn wagons.

The line around Lake Baikal was one of the most difficult railroads to be built in the world at the time. It had 39 tunnels along the shore of the lake, much of which was vertical rock.

There was another hard nut to crack. The Amur Railroad was probably the most difficult to build after the line around Lake Baikal. There were just too many swamps, taiga, permafrost and tunnels. In fact it was only the intervention of another important Russian statesman, Stolypin, that saved the Amur Railroad from being abandoned. Some authors regard 1915 as the date the Trans-Siberian was completed.

from the outset — вначале

permafrost — вечная мерзлота

embankment — насыпь

bridge support — мостовая опора

sleeper — шпала

impact — влияние

navigable — судоходной

flood — наводнение

in view of— ввиду

ferry — переправляться (на пароме)

icebreaker — ледокол



New speedy trains "Moscow-Vladivostok" and "Vladivostok-Moscow" are on rails with container and cargo carriages as a part of them. In case of using the trains cargo owners could enjoy a full service of delivery including a "door from door" one. The launching of these trains became one more step of the Center of Transport service to attract additional cargo volumes, to reduce expanses and terms of delivery, and to improve the quality of service at Trans-Siberian route. The next step of the Center is to launch the regular cargo speedy trains between Moscow and Beijing with the same level of service for cargo owners. It should be pointed out that improving of service on this route is of great importance in attracting here additional volumes of cargo. To reduce the terms of delivery and to ensure regularity of trains are the first requirements of the potential clients who consider Trans-Siberian route as the way of cargo transit from Asian and Pacific region to West Europe. Because transit cargo carrying by railways of Russia (today the main cargo volumes go by sea skirting thus Russian territories) is a very important opportunity for Russian economy.

In fact the volumes of import and export transportation just reflect the situation on domestic Russian economy and could not be changed without its stabilization. Additional transit cargo (the logistical scheme of their transportation appear and disappear as well outside Russia) is a real possibility to increase the profit of railway companies and of the state budget in the whole without referring to the situation in the economy. That is the reason why a struggle between many states for transit freight traffic is the most cruel kind of competition.

The main obstacle for Trans-Siberian route to become popular enough is a political situation in Russia that is so rich of unpleasant surprises. So it is easy to understand the hesitations of cargo owners who are not in hurry to change their logistical schemes towards territories of unpeaceful Russia, even if it has a number of considerable advantages.

For the last period those who have any connections with railways seem to have realized the importance of the struggle for transit transportation through Russia. Ministry of Railways of Russia has already done a step to raise competitiveness of Trans-Siberian route. The measures are being taken to increase the speed of the container train "Nakhodka-Vostochnay Buslovskaya" (part of containers could be brought to Brest). The train has the same technological aspects as the passenger trains do.

At the session of Coordination Council of Trans-Siberian transportation that will take placein Helsinki the participants will have an opportunity to promote the new projects of railways of Russia, and especially those concerning Transsiberian line to the potential clients. The results of negotiation in Helsinki could be of great importance in the near future for it can influence the struggle for transit cargo delivery from Asian and Pacific region countries to West Europe between sea transport and land one using Transsib.

trunk-line — магистраль

cargo — груз

skirt — окружать

competitive — конкурентоспособный


The Russian Ministry of Railways is thinking of building a tunnel under the Tatar Strait and it might launch the construction to link the Island of Sakhalin with Eurasia. If another tunnel were laid subsequently to link Sakhalin and the Japanese island of Hokkaido, then the contemplated intercontinental Amsterdam-Tokyo railroad would become reality. The longest segment of this route will be Russia's Trans-Siberian Railway.

Why do we need a tunnel under the Tatar Strait? To begin with, the tunnel will make the Amsterdam-Tokyo railroad the shortest, quickest, and most reliable route linking Eurasia and the Far East. Currently, goods shipped from Europe to Far Eastern destinations have to be carried round the Asian continent via the Indian Ocean — a sea route that takes at least a month to cover, to say nothing of the piracy of the southern seas.

Second, reliable service between the Russian Far East and Sakhalin and further on can draw freight operations from the sea routes, sharply increasing the turnover of the Trans-Siberian Railway. This means extra revenues for the Railways Ministry and the state budget.

The Tatar Strait tunnel is to be built at the strait's narrowest section — the eight-kilometer long Gulf of Nevelsk. The idea originally emerged decades ago, in the 1950s, but then it was assumed that a ferry service between mainland Russia and Sakhalin would be more economical. And now the ferries that have been in service for over 20 years have become obsolete and cannot cope with today's massive cargo flows.

Indeed, to build a tunnel in an area prone to quakes and in the unstable, "floating" bed of the Tatar Strait is an extremely laborious job. Construction will cost an estimated $10 billion to $15 billion, and will last four to five years. Besides, simultaneously with the construction of the tunnel, it will be necessary to build a highway and a railroad from Komsomolsk-on-Amur to the Gulf of Nevelsky. New transport facilities will also have to be put up on Sakhalin. As soon as the Russians start the construction work, the Japanese will begin to lay an 18-km tunnel between Hokkaido and Sakhalin.

The project's designers have taken into account the experience of building the English Channel tunnel, which has been in service for a number of years. The Tatar Strait tunnel will accommodate trains as well as motor vehicles. Moreover, it will also have room for oil and gas pipelines. The existing pipelines from Sakhalin to Komsomolsk-on-Amur have been in use for 40 years. The tunnel's designers say there will be a safe distance between the tunnel for oil and gas lines and that for transport vehicles.

Before starting work on the tunnel, it must be conclusively established whether it will still be in demand in 15 to 20 years' time, when the chief commodity will be information. It must also be determined what types of cargo can go through the tunnel, and whether the existing maritime routes are not best for transporting certain types of cargo. And finally, we have to see whether it is expedient to have Japan as the terminus of the intercontinental highway, for there are other Asian countries, after all, which might be interested in the project.

via — через

to say nothing — не говоря о

piracy — пиратство

turnover — грузооборот

revenue — доход

cope with — справляться

prone — подверженный

floating — плавающий

to take into account — принимать во внимание

English Channel — Ла-Манш (пролив)

commodity — продукт

maritime — морской

expedient — целесообразный

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