domingo, 14 de junio de 2009

Nuevo Texo (Railway transportation in India)

Railway transportation in India

A plan for a rail system in India was first put forward in 1832, but no further steps were taken for more than a decade. In 1844, the Governor-General of India Lord Hardinge allowed private entrepreneurs to set up a rail system in India. Two new railway companies were created and the East India Company was asked to assist them. Interest from a lot of investors in the UK led to the rapid creation of a rail system over the next few years. The first train in India became operational on 1851-12-22, and was used for the hauling of construction material in Roorkee. A few years later, on 1853-04-16, the first passenger train between Bori Bunder, Bombay and Thana covering a distance of 34 km (21 miles) was inaugurated, formally heralding the birth of railways in India.

The British government encouraged the setting up of railway companies by private investors under a scheme that would guarantee an annual return of five percent during the initial years of operation. Once completed, the company would then be transferred to the government, but the original company would retain operational control. This network had a route mileage of about 14,500 km (9,000 miles) by 1880, mostly radiating inward from the three major port cities of Bombay, Madras and Calcutta. By 1895, India had started building its own locomotives, and in 1896 sent engineers and locomotives to help build the Uganda Railways.

Extent of Great Indian Peninsular Railway network in 1870. The GIPR was one of the largest rail companies at that time. Soon various independent kingdoms began to have their own rail systems and the network spread to the regions that became the modern-day states of Assam, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. A Railway Board was constituted in 1901, but the powers were still formally held by the Viceroy, Lord Curzon. The Railway Board operated under aegis of the Department of Commerce and Industry and had three members: a government railway official serving as chairman, a railway manager from England and an agent of one of the company railways. For the first time in its history, the Railways began to make a tidy profit. In 1907, almost all the rail companies were taken over by the government.

The following year, the first electric locomotive made its appearance. With the arrival of First World War, the railways were used to meet the needs of the British outside India. By the end of the First World War, the railways had suffered immensely, and were in a poor state. The government took over the management of the Railways and removed the link between the finances of the Railways and other governmental revenues in 1920.

The Second World War severely crippled the railways as trains were diverted to the Middle East, and the railway workshops converted into munitions workshops. At the time of independence in 1947, a big chunk of the railways went to the then newly formed Pakistan. A total of forty-two separate railway systems, including thirty-two lines owned by the former Indian princely states were amalgamated as a single unit which was christened as the Indian Railways.

The existing rail networks were abandoned in favour of zones in 1951 and a total of six zones came into being in 1952. As the economy of India improved, almost all railway production units were indigenised. By 1985, steam locomotives were phased out in favour of diesel and electric locomotives. The entire railway reservation system was streamlined with Computerisation in 1995.

1. Vocabulary Analysis.

In the first paragraph find a Synonym for the following words or phrases.

- Presented (v)
- Businessman (n)
- Design (v)
- Railroad (n)
- Transportation (n)
- Announcing (v)

2. According to the text say right wrong or I don’t know. Support your answers.

____ a. The annual return during the first years of operation is high

____ b. New railways spread to other regions that became the modern-day states of Assam, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh.

____ c. The first electric locomotive made its appearance in 1908

____ d. The former Indian princely states were amalgamated as a single unit which was baptized as the Indian Railways.

____ f. As the economy of India improved, almost all railway production units were became the country’s property.

3. In no less than 60 words make a brief synthesis of the text.

martes, 9 de junio de 2009

Text for the Evaluation

China strongly emphasizes attracting foreign investment in projects that will enhance the nation's economic development. Beginning in the early 1970s, China contracted for the construction of a substantial number of complete plants, notably for iron and steel, automobile, and fertilizer manufacture and power generation, including nuclear power. Such agreements, often made with private firms from Japan, Germany, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, and Canada, as well as with agencies of the Communist states, all called for direct purchase of materials and services. Residual ownership by foreigners and remittance of profits from production were expressly disallowed.

China's policies toward private investment have become increasingly open. In the 1980s, foreign investment was restricted to export-oriented businesses, and foreign investors were required to enter into joint ventures (JVs) with Chinese counterparts in order to enter the market. Under the Joint Ventures Law, enacted in 1979 and revised in 1982, the development of joint ventures for the production of exports has been particularly stressed as a means of securing for China the foreign exchange needed to pay for purchases of advanced technology. Foreign investment in products for the domestic market, other than those needed for modernization, was discouraged.

In the early 1990s, the government began allowing foreign investors to manufacture and sell an increasingly wide variety of goods in the domestic market. From the mid-1990s, wholly foreign-owned enterprises (WFOEs) have been allowed to operate. In 2000 and 2001, China revised its laws on JVs and WFOEs to eliminate requirements for foreign exchange balancing, to eliminate domestic sales ratio requirements, to eliminate or adjust advanced technology and export performance requirements, and to modify provisions on domestic procurement of raw materials. With China's accession to the WTO in November 2001, foreign investment opportunities were further expanded with the removal of financial and distribution services from the restricted list. Only the production of arms, and the mining and processing of certain minerals are currently off-limits to foreign investment.

domingo, 3 de mayo de 2009

Passive Voice, Past Simple and Past Simple Continuous

Passive - UseWe only use the passive when we are interested in the object or when we do not know who caused the action.

Example: Appointments are required in such cases.

We can only form a passive sentence from an active sentence when there is an object in the active sentence.

to be + past participle

How to form a passive sentence when an active sentence is given:
- object of the "active" sentence becomes subject in the "passive" sentence
- subject of the "active" sentence becomes "object" in the "passive" sentence" (or is left out)

Active: Peter builds a house.

Passive: A house is built by Peter.


Active: Peter builds a house. Simple Present

Passive: A house is built by Peter.

Active: Peter built a house. Simple Past

Passive: A house was built by Peter.

Active: Peter has built a house. Present Perfect

Passive: A house has been built by Peter.

Active: Peter will build a house. will-future

Passive: A house will be built by Peter.

Active: Peter can build a house. Modals

Passive: A house can be built by Peter.

Simple past

USE 1 Completed Action in the Past

Use the Simple Past to express the idea that an action started and finished at a specific time in the past. Sometimes, the speaker may not actually mention the specific time, but they do have one specific time in mind.

Ex. I saw a movie yesterday

USE 2 A Series of Completed Actions

We use the Simple Past to list a series of completed actions in the past. These actions happen 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and so on.

Ex. I finished work, walked to the beach, and found a nice place to swim.

USE 3 Duration in Past

The Simple Past can be used with a duration which starts and stops in the past. A duration is a longer action often indicated by expressions such as: for two years, for five minutes, all day, all year, etc.

Ex. I lived in Brazil for two years.

USE 4 Habits in the Past

The Simple Past can also be used to describe a habit which stopped in the past. It can have the same meaning as "used to." To make it clear that we are talking about a habit, we often add expressions such as: always, often, usually, never, when I was a child, when I was younger, etc.

Ex. I studied French when I was a child.

Past Continuous

USE 1 Interrupted Action in the Past

Use the Past Continuous to indicate that a longer action in the past was interrupted. The interruption is usually a shorter action in the Simple Past. Remember this can be a real interruption or just an interruption in time.
Ex. I was watching TV when she called.

USE 2 Specific Time as an Interruption

In USE 1, described above, the Past Continuous is interrupted by a shorter action in the Simple Past. However, you can also use a specific time as an interruption.

Ex. Last night at 6 PM, I was eating dinner.

USE 3 Parallel Actions

When you use the Past Continuous with two actions in the same sentence, it expresses the idea that both actions were happening at the same time. The actions are parallel.

Ex. I was studying while he was making dinner.

USE 4 Atmosphere

In English, we often use a series of parallel actions to describe the atmosphere at a particular time in the past.


When I walked into the office, several people were busily typing, some were talking on the phones, the boss was yelling directions, and customers were waiting to be helped. One customer was yelling at a secretary and waving his hands. Others were complaining to each other about the bad service.

While vs. When

Clauses are groups of words which have meaning, but are often not complete sentences. Some clauses begin with the word "when" such as "when she called" or "when it bit me." Other clauses begin with "while" such as "while she was sleeping" and "while he was surfing." When you talk about things in the past, "when" is most often followed by the verb tense Simple Past, whereas "while" is usually followed by Past Continuous. "While" expresses the idea of "during that time." Study the examples below. They have similar meanings, but they emphasize different parts of the sentence.


• I was studying when she called.
• While I was studying, she called.


Passive Voice

Put in the correct form of the verb in Passive into the gaps. Use the verb and the tense given in brackets.

A letter __________ by Peter. (to write - Simple Present)

A letter is written by Peter.

1) The words________________ by the teacher today. (to explain - Simple Present)
2) We ______________________ a letter the day before yesterday. (to send - Simple Past)
3) This Car_________________. It's too old. (not/to steal - will-future)
4) This street _____________ because of snow. (already/to close - Present Perfect)
5) A new restaurant __________________ next week. (to open - will-future)
6) He ________________ to the party yesterday. (to invite - Simple Past)
7) The blue box_________________________. (can/not/to see - Simple Present)
8) I ______________________ the book by my friend last Sunday. (to give - Simple Past)
9) The dishes__________________ by my little brother. (not/to wash - Present Perfect)
10) I ___________________________ by Robert. (not/to ask - will-future)

Simple Past and Past Continuous Tenses

1. A: What (you, do)_________________when the accident occurred?
B: I (try)__________________to change a light bulb that had burnt out.

2. After I (find)_____________the wallet full of money, I (go, immediately)_______________to the police and (turn)____________it in.

3. The doctor (say)____________that Tom (be)____________too sick to go to work and that he (need)________________to stay at home for a couple of days.

4. Sebastian (arrive)______________at Susan's house a little before 9:00 PM, but she (be, not_______________ there. She (study, at the library)_______________for her final examination in French.

5. Sandy is in the living room watching television. At this time yesterday, she (watch, also)__________________television. That's all she ever does!

6. A: I (call)_______________you last night after dinner, but you (be, not)___________there. Where were you?
B: I (work)______________out at the fitness center.

7. When I (walk)______________into the busy office, the secretary (talk)______________on the phone with a customer, several clerks (work, busily)________________at their desks, and two managers (discuss, quietly)__________________methods to improve customer service.

8. I (watch)______________a mystery movie on TV when the electricity went out. Now I am never going to find out how the movie ends.

9. Sharon (be) _____________in the room when John told me what happened, but she didn't hear anything because she (listen, not) ________________.

10. It's strange that you (call)_______________because I (think, just) ________________ about you.

11. The Titanic (cross) ______________the Atlantic when it (strike) ______________an iceberg.

12. When I entered the bazaar, a couple of merchants (bargain, busily) _______________and (try) ______________to sell their goods to naive tourists who (hunt) ___________for souvenirs. Some young boys (lead) ______________their donkeys through the narrow streets on their way home. A couple of men (argue)___________over the price of a leather belt. I (walk) _____________over to a man who (sell) ____________fruit and (buy) _____________a banana.

13. The firemen (rescue) _____________the old woman who (be) ___________trapped on the third floor of the burning building.

14. She was so annoying! She (leave, always) ______________her dirty dishes in the sink. I think she (expect, actually) _______________me to do them for her.

15. Samantha (live) ______________in Berlin for more than two years. In fact, she (live) __________________there when the Berlin Wall came down.

FMCSA Issues Rule to Improve the Safety of Equipment Used in the Transportation of Intermodal Containers

WASHINGTON—New rules issued today will significantly strengthen safety requirements for intermodal container chassis, the special trailers that hold cargo containers when they are transferred from ship or rail to truck for final delivery, announced John H. Hill, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

"We want to ensure that every piece of equipment traveling on our highways is operating safely," said FMCSA Administrator John H. Hill. "These new rules will bring new safety and enforcement focus on the chassis and equipment used to haul goods on our nation’s roads every day," Hill said.

The new regulations make intermodal equipment providers subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) for the first time, and establish shared safety responsibility among intermodal equipment providers, motor carriers, and drivers.

Beginning in December 2009, intermodal equipment providers must have in effect regular and systematic inspection, repair, and maintenance programs for intermodal chassis; they will also need to track defects reported and repairs made. By December 2010, each intermodal provider is required to identify its equipment with a USDOT number. FMCSA’s final rule also outlines inspection requirements for motor carriers and drivers operating intermodal equipment.

Intermodal equipment providers will be subject to on-site reviews to ensure compliance with the new rules. Penalties for violating these rules range from civil fines to a prohibition on providing or operating intermodal equipment found to pose an imminent hazard.

Taken from:



1- Match the vocabulary words on the left with the definitions on the right. Make sentences with each of them.

1. delivery __to transport in a vehicle; carry.

2. highways __an act of conveying or transporting.

3. carriers __in a motor vehicle, the frame supporting the body and
4. track __the act or process of enforcing.

5. chassis __a major public road.

6. provide __a fixed position or attitude, such as one assumed by a

7. enforcement __to make or grow strong or stronger.

8. haul __to supply; furnish.

9. strengthen __to monitor the movement of.

10. pose __a commercial delivery company.

2- Read the text and state its main idea.

3- according to the dialog, say true or false.

____ New rules issued today could significantly strengthen safety requirements for intermodal container chassis.

____ FMCSA Administrator John H. Hill is definitely against taking measures related with chassis equipment used to transport goods.

____ Equipment providers, motor carriers, and drivers are all responsible in intermodal transportation.

____ It is necessary to carry out regular inspections to intermodal chassis.

____ This text is focused on commerce rather than transportation.

4- What is happening in your country with regards regulations on transport? Discuss with your partner.

5- In ten minutes, write a synthesis of this text. Exchange you writing with your partner for correction and grading.