Free English Lessons

Listening Lesson – Train Ticket Problems

by Oli Redman on 23 September, 2014 , No comments

If you travel to an English-speaking country, you might want to travel by train. Learn how to ask about train times and different types of ticket in this free English listening lesson.

Woman: I’d like a ticket to London, please.

Man: Are you coming back today?

Woman: Why do you need to know?

Man: If you’re coming back today, you can buy a day return ticket, which is cheaper. Otherwise, you need a period return1.

Woman: Okay, a day return please.

Man: And what time are you coming back?

Woman: Why are you asking me all these questions? I just want my ticket.

Man: I’m sorry, madam, but if you want to come back at peak time2, you’ll need a more expensive ticket.

Woman: I want to come back around 5.30.

Man: Well, that’s peak time I’m afraid. You’ll either need to buy a peak time ticket, or you’ll only be able to take slow trains.

Woman: This is ridiculous3. It’s so complicated! I just want a ticket… So how much is a peak ticket.

Man: £60. Off-peak tickets are £22.

Woman: That’s crazy!

Man: I’m sorry, madam, I understand it’s annoying4, but I don’t make the rules.

Woman: So if I take an off-peak ticket, how do I know what trains I can take?

Man: Here’s a list. You have to change either at Didcot or at Reading.

Woman: These take twice as long5. Aren’t there any direct6 trains?

Man: Yes, I know. If you wait until 6.00, you can…

Woman: Just give me the ticket, please.

  1. A day return is a ticket to go and come back on the same day. A period return is a ticket to come back on another day. Period returns are usually more expensive.
  2. Peak time is similar to rush hour. It means the time of day when people are going to work or coming home. In the UK, tickets to London at peak time are very expensive.
  3. Ridiculous = stupid. Ridiculous is quite a strong adjective.
  4. Annoying = something which makes you a little bit angry. You can also say irritating, which has the same meaning.
  5. If journey A takes one hour, and journey B takes two hours, then journey B takes twice as long.
  6. A direct train (or plane, or whatever) means you don’t have to change trains.

Can you match the words and phrases with the same meanings?

1.  annoyinga.  this situation annoys me
2.  peak timeb.  makes you a little bit angry
3.  that’s crazyc.  you’ll have to change trains
4.  complicatedd.  rush hour
5.  you can’t take a direct traine.  difficult, not simple

Complete the sentences with one word

    1. What time are you __________ back?
    2. Here’s a __________ of trains you can take with an off-peak ticket.
    3. I’m coming back tomorrow, so I’d like a __________ return please.
    4. That’s crazy: peak tickets are more than twice __________ expensive!
    5. I understand it’s annoying, but I don’t make the __________.
      1. b
      2. d
      3. a
      4. e
      5. c
      6. coming
      7. list
      8. period
      9. as
      10. rules
Oli RedmanListening Lesson – Train Ticket Problems