Free English Lessons

Train Station Announcements – Listening Lesson (A1)


Do you catch the train in your country? Have you ever been to England and caught the train – or would you like to? In this free listening lesson from Oxford Online English, you will listen to some public announcements from Salisbury station in the southwest of England. Can you follow the information, and recognise the bits you need to know? This is a lesson for elementary learners.

Listen to the five announcements here:

or listen to a slower version here:

Platform1 4 for the 1121 service to London Waterloo, calling2 at Andover, Basingstoke, Woking, Clapham Junction and London Waterloo. This train is formed of 6 coaches3.

This is a platform alteration4. The 1133 service to Portsmouth Harbour will now depart5 from platform 2. Platform 2 for the 1133 service to Portsmouth Harbour, calling at Romsey, Southampton Central, Fareham, Cosham, Fratton, Portsmouth & Southsea and Portsmouth Harbour.

The train now standing at platform 3 is the 1142 service to Cardiff Central, calling at Warminster, Westbury, Trowbridge, Bradford-on-Avon, Bath Spa, Bristol Temple Meads, Newport and Cardiff Central. This train is formed of 3 coaches. Platform 3 for the 1142 service to Cardiff Central.

We are sorry to announce that the 1147 service to Exeter St Davids is delayed6 by 15 minutes. We apologise that your journey will take longer than planned.

Please do not leave your luggage unattended7. Any items left unattended may be destroyed.

The exercises below will help you understand the recording one step at a time. Before you try the exercises, look at the meaning of these words.

1. platform = the place where you stand when you are waiting for a train.
2. In train announcements, ‘calling’ means the places where the train stops.
3. coach = part of a train
4. alteration = change
5. depart = leave
6. delayed = late
7. If you leave your luggage (e.g. suitcases, bags) ‘unattended’, it means you have put it somewhere, then walked away to a different place without taking it with you.

Train Station Announcements – exercise 1
Comprehension: the main message

When we hear public announcements, we don’t listen to all the details. We listen to the start to understand what the message is about. If it’s important (because it’s about the train we want to catch), we continue to listen carefully; if it’s not important, we don’t listen to the details!

Can you understand the main message of the five announcements?

Train Station Announcements – exercise 2
Listening skill: following the words you hear

If you don’t understand all the words the first time you hear them, try to follow the sounds and recognise words that you know.

Listen to the five announcements again and put the words in the order that you hear them.

Train Station Announcements – exercise 3
Pronunciation: intonation in lists

Intonation means the way your voice rises and falls, like when you’re singing. We do this when we’re speaking to indicate a number of things. One example is in lists: we use rising intonation for every item of a list except the last thing, which is pronounced with falling intonation.

Clik ‘Start Quiz’ to listen to an example from one announcement.

Train Station Announcements – exercise 4
Comprehension: the details

You have studied some of the language in the announcements. Now you need to identify the details.

Read about five people who are waiting at the station and complete the information that they need.

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