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考研英语阅读理解文章36-Clattering over a moonscape

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发表于 2017-4-19 07:00:02 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Clattering over a moonscape
The great railway revival

THE train was running late, but the 35 aboriginal children who had travelled for two hours through the South Australian desert to meet it did not seem to mind. It was, after all, Australia’s and one of the world’s most unusual train journeys. When the Indian Pacific passenger train finally ground to a halt at Watson, a siding on Australia’s transcontinental line, the children burst into a rendition of a Spanish Christmas song, "Feliz Navidad", as Father Christmas disembarked to distribute gifts.

Watson is a red desert moonscape on the Nullarbor Plain at the eastern end of the world’s longest stretch of straight rail track, 478km (297 miles). This is a mere one-tenth of the 4,352km, three-day journey the train was making between Sydney on Australia’s east coast and Perth on the west coast. The Indian Pacific and its predecessors, such as the Tea and Sugar Train that took provisions to isolated outback communities, were once symbols of Australia’s conquest of its vast distances. But by the 1990s, air travel and the neglect of Australia’s railways by their federal and state-government owners almost killed the last east-west passenger train.

After threatening to close the loss-making Indian Pacific, the federal government in Canberra sold it and the Ghan, another outback passenger train, to Great Southern Railway (GSR), a British-owned private consortium, in 1997. GSR has now turned a first-year loss of A$20m ($15m) into a small operating profit by restoring rolling stock, hiring young, multi-skilled, non-unionised crews and re-marketing the trains to locals and tourists alike. One innovation was to send the Indian Pacific on a whistle-stop Christmas run taking gifts and music to the outback. This year’s journey, the fifth, with impromptu concerts at remote sidings by Jimmy Barnes, an Australian rock star, drew the biggest crowds so far. Broken Hill, a town in western New South Wales struggling since its big silver, lead and zinc mine started winding down, now relies on the Indian Pacific’s tourist passengers for economic lifeblood.

The Ghan’s revival on the north-south transcontinental line has been even more remarkable. The 65,000-plus passengers it carried through the Northern Territory in 2004 were 60% more than in the previous year. Public interest grew after the opening of a new line between Alice Springs and Darwin, allowing people to make the two-day journey from Adelaide by rail for the first time. GSR plans to double the Ghan’s frequency in 2005.

The railway revival still has inefficiencies to overcome. The Indian Pacific competes for space on the single track with trains that carry 80% of the freight between Australia’s east and west coasts. Though most of the line is straight and flat, speed limitations mean this is not a journey for anyone in a hurry.
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Economist; 12/18/2004, Vol. 373 Issue 8406, p54-54, 2/5p
注(1):本文选自Economist; 12/18/2004, p54-54, 2/5p;
注(2):本文习题命题模仿对象2004年真题Text 1;

1.What was the Indian Pacific like before its selling to GSR?
[A]It always posed a threat to the federal government.
[B]It was mainly used for carrying cargos.
[C]It almost broke down and collapsed.
[D]It helped Australia conquer its vast land.

2.Which of the following is not true about “the Indian Pacific”?
[A]It was not popular with passengers with its low speed.
[B]It used to be a symbol of Australia’s conquest of its vast distance.
[C]It almost disappeared because of the air travel and the neglect of Australia’s railway.
[D]Many ways have been adopted to revive it.

3.The main idea of paragraph 3 and paragraph 4 is that __________.
[A]what is the use of reviving the railway
[B]what effect the revival of the railway has brought about
[C]how to deal with the difficulties in the development of railway
[D]how the measures are adopted to revive the collapsing railways

4.What benefit can the revival of the railway bring to some remote and rural area?
[A]It can bring happiness to the children there.
[B]It can help develop the economy.
[C]It can lessen the burden of the government.
[D]It can bring a lot of job opportunities.

5.What difficulty is the Indian Pacific facing today?
[A]The train goes so slowly that many people will not take it.
[B]The space for developing the Indian Pacific is not large enough.
[C]The frequency of using the single track line is low.
[D]Carrying passengers is less profitable than carrying the freight.

篇章剖析
本文介绍了澳大利亚一些通往内地的乘客列车由于某些原因几乎陷入关闭的境地,现在澳大利亚正在掀起复兴铁路的热潮。第一段介绍了世界上最不寻常的一次火车旅行;第二段指出曾一度是澳大利亚征服这片辽阔疆域的标志的列车它们现在的境遇;第三段和第四段指出复兴这些铁路所采取的措施;第五段指出这些列车所面临的一些问题。

词汇注释
clatter vi, vt. 发出得得、卡嗒、丁当、哗啦啦、格格等响声;嘁嘁喳喳讲话;(车轮转动时)发出急促的敲击声
moonscape n. 月的表面(景色);月面似的荒凉景色
grind vi. 磨, 碾, 研; 磨碎[光、快];磨擦得嘎嘎响;刻苦用功
siding n. (=sidetrack)(铁路)旁轨, 岔道, 侧线
transcontinental adj. 横贯大陆的, 大陆那边的, <主加拿大>横穿大路的列车(或铁路)
rendition n.表演, 演唱, 翻译
Nullarbor Plain 纳勒博平原[澳大利亚西南部](火箭制造基地和试验场)
Perth 珀斯(也译佩思)(澳大利亚西南一城市)
predecessor n.前辈, 前任, (被取代的)原有事物
provision n.供应, (一批)供应品,补给物;预备, 防备, 规定
outback n.内地, (指澳大利亚等偏僻而人口稀少的地方)
neglect n. (常与of连用)疏忽;忽略;被忽略的状况;被忽略的事实
the Indian Pacific, the Ghan and the Overlander, The Great Southern Railway均为澳大利亚铁路线的名称,分别是“印度太平洋”、“甘”、“陆地旅行” 和“大南方铁路” 等线路。
distance n. 宽阔的区域,一片没有指定界限的空间
rolling stock n. 机车车辆(铁路或汽车运输公司的)车辆(总称),全部车辆
whistle-stop n. (AmE.) (铁路沿线的)小镇;(竞选演说旅途中的)游说;短暂停留(露面或发表简短演说)
run n. 短期旅行或访问;为公共职位而进行的竞选
wind down 松开(发条) 使放松下来;把(汽车玻璃)摇下;失去势头; 减速; 松劲,渐减能量、强度或范围上渐渐减少
lifeblood n.生命必须的血液, 活力的源泉,命脉,生命线

难句突破
1.When the Indian Pacific passenger train finally ground to a halt at Watson, a siding on Australia’s transcontinental line, the children burst into a rendition of a Spanish Christmas song, "Feliz Navidad", as Father Christmas disembarked to distribute gifts.
主体句式:the children burst into a rendition of a Spanish Christmas song …
结构分析:“when”引导时间状语从句,其中“grind to a halt”的意思是“慢慢停 了下来”,“a siding on Australia’s transcontinental line”是“Watson”的同位语;主句中词组“burst into”的意思是“ 突然出现”,“Feliz Navidad”是“a Spanish Christmas song”的同位语,“as”引导时间状语从句。
句子译文:当这列印第安大西洋旅客列车终于在沃森车站——澳大利亚横穿大路铁路的侧线——嘎的一声停下来时,圣诞老人下车开始分发礼物,此时,这些孩子开始欢快地唱起了一首西班牙圣诞节歌曲——《白色圣诞节》。

2.GSR has now turned a first-year loss of A$20m ($15m) into a small operating profit by restoring rolling stock, hiring young, multi-skilled, non-unionised crews and re-marketing the trains to locals and tourists alike.
主体句式:GSR has now turned a first-year loss of A$20m ($15m) into a small operating profit…
结构分析:本句是一个简单句,关键是理解介词“by”之后所跟单词的含义。
句子译文:“大南方铁路”采取了一系列整顿措施,包括修复机车车辆、雇佣年轻、具备多种技能、未参加工会的乘务人员、向当地居民和旅游者重新进行市场宣传等。通过这些措施,它不仅初步扭转了亏损局面,填补了高达2千万澳元(1.5千万美元)的第一年亏损额,还获得少量营业利润。

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发表于 2017-10-23 08:50:17 | 显示全部楼层
务人员、向当地居民和旅游者重新进行市场宣传等。通过这些措施,它不仅初步扭转了亏损局面,填补了高达2千万澳元(1.5千万美元)的第一年亏损额,还获得少量营业利润。
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发表于 2018-6-8 09:04:41 | 显示全部楼层
1.C
2.C
3.A
4.B
5.D
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