Part I: Listen and Read: Read along with the audio recording.
I always take the train to work. At the station, I walk up to a ticket machine, select my destination by pressing a button on the machine, insert the correct change, and press another button to purchase a ticket. When the ticket comes out, I take it and go through the gate to the train platform. At some stations, there is a ticket window where I can buy a ticket and then pass through a wicket machine. While I'm waiting for the train, I sometimes buy a newspaper at a kiosk (newstand), and I might grab something to drink. Smoking is prohibited on the platform to protect everyone's health. When the train approaches, people start lining up behind the yellow line. If the train is very crowded, I sometimes wait for the next train. When the train arrives, I get on and find a seat. Often, the train is packed with passengers, so I just have to stand.
Part II: Discussion
Is there a train station near where you like? If so, what is it like? Are the trains that stop there convenient? Can you buy items like newspapers and food at the station? How much does a train ticket typically cost?
Part III: Online Investigation
Suppose you want to travel across the United States by train from coast to coast. What train could you take and how much would it cost? Use the Internet to plan your cross-country trip. What are some of the major cities where the train stops? Does it cost extra to stop at a city to sightsee before continuing your journey?
Online Listening Practice (from www.esl-lab.com):