Travelling the tracks in style 別具一格的火車之旅

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雖然火車這種交通工具的功能和外形大多非常簡樸,但自兩百年前被發明以來,它對人類文明的發展有著不容小覷的意義。相比日復一日的貨運及客運功能,奢華列車的出現也許讓長途旅行體驗達到了巔峰。這類別具一格的旅行方式結合了極高的行駛速度和五星級服務 — 有什麼理由不喜歡呢?有了讓人眼花繚亂的選擇,下一步就是考慮你的目的地了。本集節目談一談奢華列車遊的特別之處。

Vocabulary: trains 詞彙: 火車

Who doesn’t love a train? Since the invention of the first steam-powered locomotive in the UK in 1804, this powerful mode of transport has helped keep human progress on track. If they weren’t hauling freight in cars, they’d be pulling passengers in carriages. In the modern era, the iron horse is still chugging along under its own steam. And these days, many are attracted to it for its comfort, style and luxury.

In the UK, a new £150m fleet of Caledonian Sleepers has just been unveiled. These overnight trains provide an experience that will ‘transform travel between London and Scotland,’ says Ryan Flaherty of Serco, the company operating the rail service, in a BBC article. Indeed, the fleet features 40 sleeper carriages fitted with showers, a club car for dining and new engineering in the couplers to prevent shunting from waking resting passengers.

But it doesn’t stop there. All over the globe, luxury trains deliver comfort and opulence on rails to passengers looking to let off steam. Why not try a whistle-stop tour of India on The Maharajas’ Express? Taking 88 guests at a time on a four or eight-night trip, the train boasts restaurant cars, a bar and a lounge. If South Africa is more to your taste, you can travel for over 31 hours from Cape Town to Pretoria in a spacious cabin boasting five-star service on The Blue Train. Fancy South America? The Belmond Andean Explorer is its first sleeper train. They boast it is one of the highest train routes in the world. It can whisk you across Peru from Cusco, the Incan capital, to Arequipa, ‘the White City’. And of course, no mention of locomotive luxury would be complete without the famous Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, the well-known setting of a popular murder mystery novel. Travelling across Europe to various destinations such as London, Paris and Venice, its art deco cabins are manned by stewards and feature a resident pianist.

Trains are old. And it is perhaps this age that appeals to many people. Stepping on board a luxury train to travel as we used to long ago evokes romantic memories of grand journeys at a more measured pace. If this appeals to you, why not consider one for your next holiday? I’m sure your experience will be anything but a train wreck.

詞彙表

train 火車
steam-powered 蒸汽驅動的
locomotive 火車頭
mode of transport 運輸方式
keep something on track 使…保持正常進行
haul 拖、拉(重物)
freight 貨物
car 汽車
carriage 火車車廂
iron horse 「鐵馬」,指蒸汽火車
chug 突突地行駛
under your own steam 靠自己的力量
fleet 列車隊
sleeper 臥鋪
coupler 火車耦合器
shunting 火車轉軌
rail 鐵軌
let off steam 釋放、緩解精力
whistle-stop tour (在各地短暫停留的)蜻蜓點水式觀光
cabin 列車車廂
steward 乘務員
on board 在車上
train wreck 失敗、災難

測驗與練習

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. Apart from luxury travel, what other uses does the article mention trains have?

2. Where does the Caledonian Sleeper take passengers from and to?

3. Which famous train was the setting of a renowned narrative?

4. True or false? The route of the Belmond Andean Explorer is the highest in the world.

5. Which word in the article means ‘expensive and luxurious’?

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單詞填入句子的空格處。

1. All over the world, lorries, ships and trains transport ______ from one country to another.

frayed                            freight                                   frait                            afraid

2. I’m sorry, can I ______ you along the bench a bit so I can sit down? Thank you!

chug                              shunt                                     rail                              steam

3. This weekend, I’m going to do nothing but watch TV. I really need to ______.

steam-powered             under my own steam             let off steam              whistle-stop tour

4. This project has been a complete ______ since the moment we hired you. You’re fired!

train wreck                    iron horse                              whistle-stop tour         carriage

5. If I can ______ with my mortgage, the house will be mine in less than three years!

keep on track                 shunt                                     let off steam              haul

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. Apart from luxury travel, what other uses does the article mention trains have?
The article mentions trains hauling freight and pulling passengers.

2. Where does the Caledonian sleeper take passengers from and to?
The Caledonian sleeper travels between London and Scotland.

3. Which famous train was the setting of a renowned narrative?
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is the well-known setting of a popular murder mystery novel.

4. True or false? The route of the Belmond Andean Explorer is the highest in the world.
False. The Belmond Andean explorer boasts one of the highest train routes in the world.

5. Which word in the article means ‘expensive and luxurious’?
Opulence. All over the globe, luxury trains deliver comfort and opulence on rails to passengers looking to let off steam.

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單詞填入句子的空格處。

1. All over the world, lorries, ships and trains transport freight from one country to another.

2. I’m sorry, can I shunt you along the bench a bit so I can sit down? Thank you!

3. This weekend, I’m going to do nothing but watch TV. I really need to let off steam.

4. This project has been a complete train wreck since the moment we hired you. You’re fired!

5. If I can keep on track with my mortgage, the house will be mine in less than three years!