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The development of transport facilities was very important in the growth of the United States. The first travel routes were natural waterways. No surfaced roads existed until the 1790s, when the first highways were built. Besides the overland roads, many canals were constructed between the late 18th century and 1850 to link navigable rivers and lakes in the eastern United States and in the Great Lakes region.

Steam railways began to appear in the East in the 1820s. The first transcontinental railway was constructed between 1862 and 1869 by the Union Pacific and Central Pacific companies, both of which received large subsidies from the federal government. Transcontinental railways were the chief means of transport used by European settlers who populated the West in the latter part of the 19th century. The railways continued to expand until 1917, when their length reached a peak of about 407,000 km. Since then motor transport became a serious competitor to the railway both for passengers and freight.

Air transport began to compete with other modes of transport after World War I. Passenger service began to gain importance in 1920s, but not until the beginning of commercial jet craft after World War II did air transport become a leading mode of travel.

During the early 1990s railways annually handled about 37.5 per cent of the total freight traffic; trucks carried 26 per cent of the freight, and oil pipelines conveyed 20 per cent.

Private cars carry about 81 per cent of passengers. Airlines are the second leading mover of people, carrying more than 17 per cent of passengers. Buses are responsible for 1.1 per cent, and railways carry 0.6 per cent of passengers.

Roads and Railways

The transport network spreads into all sections of the country, but the web of railways and highways is much more dense in the eastern half of the United States.

In the early 1990s the United States had about 6.24 million km of streets, roads, and highways. The National Interstate Highway System, 68,449 km in length in the early 1990s, connected the nation's principal cities and carried about one-fifth of all the road and street traffic.

More than 188 million motor vehicles were registered in the early 1990s. More than three-quarters were cars— one for every two persons in the country. About one-fifth of the vehicles were lorries. Amtrak (the National Railroad Passenger Corporation), a federally subsidized concern, operates almost all the inter-city passenger trains in the United States. It carried more than 22 million passengers annually in the early 1990s.


II.Переведите на русский язык следующие английские словосочетания:

1)a piece of land 6) private cars
2)in honour of Christopher Columbus 7) nation's principal cities
3) indication of the location 8) the transport network
4) white marble columns 9) in the early 1990s
5) passenger service 10) modes of transport  


III.Найдите в тексте английские эквиваленты следующих словосочетаний:

1) по всей стране 6) в начале 90-х
2)совершенно новый город 7) ведущий способ передвижения
3) сеть железных дорог и шоссе 8) каналы были построены
4)местожительство президента 9)первая межконтинентальная железная дорога
5) можно насладиться видом 10)распространяется во все части


IV.Найдите в тексте слова, имеющие общий корень с данными словами. Определите, к какой части речи они относятся, и переведите их на русский язык:

rail, net, high, work, way, large, six, land, lead, pipe.


V.Задайте к выделенному в тексте предложению все типы вопросов: общий, альтернативный, разделительный, два специальных: а) к подлежащему, б) к любому члену предложения.

VI.Выполните анализ данных предложений, обратив внимание на следующие грамматические явления: модальные глаголы и их эквиваленты, времена групп Simple, Continuous и Perfect активного и пассивного залога; согласование времен; неопределенные местоимения some, any, no и их производные:

1. Washington, the capital of the United States is situated on the Potomac River.

2. They said that the district was named in honour of Christopher Columbus.

3. There have been a law in Washington against building structures higher than the Capitol.

4. You should know that in the early 1990s the United States had about 6.24 million km of streets, roads, and highways.

5. The transport network is spreading into all sections of the country, but the web of railways and highways is much more dense in the eastern half of the United States.


VII.Ответьте на вопросы по тексту:

1. Where is Washington, the capital of the United States situated?

2. What is the largest and tallest building in Washington?

3. Who was Thomas Jefferson?

4. When did air transport begin to compete with other modes of transport?

5. How many per cent of passengers do private cars carry?

6. How many motor vehicles were registered in the early 1990s?

7. What is the length of the National Interstate Highway System?


VIII.Составьте аннотацию на текст (2 - 3 предложения).

IX.Составьте реферат на текст (10 - 15 предложений).

X. Составьте план текста и перескажите текст.



I.Прочитайте и переведите тексты:



George Stephenson was a British inventor and engineer. He is famous for building the first practical railway locomotive.


George Stephenson was a British inventor and engineer. He is famous for building the first practical railway locomotive.




George Stephenson was a British inventor and engineer. He is famous for building the first practical railway locomotive.

Stephenson was born in 1781 in England. During his youth he worked as a fireman and later as an engineer in the coal mines of Newcastle. He invented one of the first miner's safety lamps independently of the British inventor Humphrey Davy. Stephenson's early locomotives were used to carry loads in coal mines, and in 1823 he established a factory at Newcastle for their manufacture. In 1829 he designed a locomotive known as the Rocket, which could carry both loads and passengers at a greater speed than any locomotive constructed at that time. The success of the Rocket was the beginning of the construction of locomotives and the laying of railway lines.


Robert Stephenson, the son of George Stephenson was a British civil engineer. He is mostly well-known known for the construction of several notable bridges.

He was born in 1803. He was educated in Newcastle and at the University of Edinburgh. In 1829 he assisted his father in constructing a locomotive known as the Rocket, and four years later he was appointed construction engineer of the Birmingham and London Railway, completed in 1838.

Stephenson built several famous bridges, including the Victoria Bridge in England, the Britannia Bridge in Wales, two bridges across the Nile in Egypt and the Victoria Bridge in Montreal, Canada.


James Watt, a famous inventor and mechanical engineer, was born on January 19, 1736, in Scotland. He worked as a mathematical-instrument maker from the age of 19 and soon became interested in improving the steam engine, which was used at that time to pump out water from mines.

Watt is known for his improvements of the steam engine. He determined the properties of steam, especially the relation of its density to its temperature and pressure, and designed a separate condensing chamber for the steam engine that prevented large losses of steam in the cylinder. For this device and other improvements on steam engine Watt received his first patent in 1769.

Watt continued his research and patented rotary engine for driving various types of machinery; the double-action engine, in which steam is admitted alternately into both ends of the cylinder; and the steam indicator, which records the steam pressure in the engine. He retired from the firm manufacturing steam engines in 1800 and devoted himself entirely to research work.

In 1788 Watt invented the centrifugal or flyball governor, which automatically regulated the speed of an engine. It uses the feedback principle of a servomechanism, linking output to input, which is the basic concept of automation. The watt, the unit of power, was named in his honour.


James Prescott Joule, famous British physicist, was born in 1818, in England.

Joule was one of the most outstanding physicists of his time. He is best known for his research in electricity and thermodynamics. In the course of his investigations of the heat emitted in an electrical circuit, he formulated the law, now known as Joule's law of electric heating. This law states that the amount of heat produced each second in a conductor by electric current is proportional to the resistance of the conductor and to the square of the current. Joule experimentally verified the law of conservation of energy in his study of the conversion of mechanical energy into heat energy.

Joule determined the numerical relation between heat and mechanical energy, or the mechanical equivalent of heat, using many independent methods. The unit of energy, called the joule, is named after him. It is equal to 1 watt-second. Together with the physicist William Thomson (Baron Kelvin), Joule found that the temperature of a gas falls when it expands without doing any work. This phenomenon, which became known as the Joule-Thomson effect, lies in the operation of modern refrigeration and air-conditioning systems.

M.V. LOMONOSOV (1711-1765)

Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov was a famous Russian writer, chemist and astronomer who made a lot in literature and science.

Lomonosov was born on November 19, 1711, in Denisovka (now Lomonosov), near Archangelsk, and studied at the University of the Imperial Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg. After studying in Germany at the Universities of Marburg and Freiberg, Lomonosov returned to St. Petersburg in 1745 to teach chemistry and built a teaching and research laboratory there four years later.

Lomonosov is often called the founder of Russian science. He was an innovator in many fields. As a scientist he rejected the phlogiston theory of matter commonly accepted at the time and he anticipated the kinetic theory of gases. He regarded heat as a form of motion, suggested the wave theory of light, and stated the idea of conservation of matter. Lomonosov was the first person to record the freezing of mercury and to observe the atmosphere of Venus.

Interested in the development of Russian education, Lomonosov helped to found Moscow State University in 1755, and in the same year he wrote a grammar that reformed the Russian literary language by combining Old Church Slavonic with modern language. In 1760 he published the first history of Russia. He also revived the art of Russian mosaic and built a mosaic and coloured-glass factory. Most of his achievements, however, were unknown outside Russia. He died in St. Petersburg on April 15, 1765.

D.I. MENDELEYEV (1834-1907)

Dmitry Ivanovich Mendeleyev is a famous Russian chemist. He is best known for his development of the periodic table of the properties of the chemical elements. This table displays that elements' properties are changed periodically when they are arranged according to atomicweight.

Mendeleyev was born in 1834 in Tobolsk, Siberia. He studied chemistry at the University of St. Petersburg, and in 1859 he was sent to study at the University of Heidelberg. Mendeleyev returned to St. Petersburg and became Professor of Chemistry at the Technical Institute in 1863. He became Professor of General Chemistry at the University of St. Petersburg in 1866. Mendeleyev was a well-known teacher, and, because there was no good textbook in chemistry at that time, he wrote the two-volume «Principles of Chemistry» which became a classic textbook in chemistry. In this book Mendeleyev tried to classify the elements according to their chemical properties. In 1869 he published his first version of his periodic table of elements. In 1871 he published an improved version of the periodic table, in which he left gaps for elements that were not known at that time. His table and theories were proved later when three predicted elements: gallium, germanium, and scandium were discovered.

Mendeleyev investigated the chemical theory of solution. He found that the best proportion of alcohol and water in vodka is 40%. He also investigated the thermal expansion of liquids and the nature of petroleum. In 1893 he became director of the Bureau of Weights and Measures in St. Petersburg and held this position until his death in 1907.


II.Переведите на русский язык следующие английские словосочетания:

1) to be famous for 6) coal mines
2) the first miner's safety lamps 7) the unit of power
3) several notable bridges 8) amount of heat
4) the steam engine 9) tried to classify
5)various types of machinery 10)chemical properties


III.Найдите в тексте английские эквиваленты следующих словосочетаний:

1)британский изобретатель 6)выдающийся физик
2) на большой скорости 7) предугадал кинетическую теорию
3) начало строительства локомотивов 8) хорошо известный преподаватель
4)улучшение парового двигателя 9)классический учебник по химии
5)известные мосты 10)основатель российской науки

IV.Найдите в тексте слова, имеющие общий корень с данными словами. Определите, к какой части речи они относятся, и переведите их на русский язык:

engine, text, known, develop, found, study, investigate, experiment, rail, fire.

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