Passage 2

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Passage 2:

The First Public Railway

The world’s first public railway carried passengers, even though it was primarily designed to transport coal from inland mines to ports on the North Sea. Unveiled on September 27, 1825, the train had 32 open wagons and carried over 300 people.

The locomotive steam engine was power by what was termed the steam-blast technique. The chimney of the locomotive redirected exhaust steam into the engine via a narrow pipe. In this way, the steam created a draft of air which followed after it, creating more power and speed for the engine.

The train had rimmed wheels which ran atop rails that were specially designed to give the carriages a faster and smoother ride. While the small carriages could hardly be termed commodious, the locomotive could accelerate to 15 miles per hour, a record-breaking speed at that time.


Subsequently, the inventor of the locomotive, George Stephenson, revolutionized his steam engine by adding 24 further pipes. Now containing 25 tubes instead of one, Stephenson’s second “iron horse” was even faster and more powerful than his first creation.

1. Which of the following is the best meaning of the word commodious as it is used in this passage?
A. small
B. uncomfortable
C. spacious
D. speedy

2. Why was the second locomotive that Stephenson invented an improvement on his first?
A. because it ran more smoothly
B. because it was more comfortable
C. because it could carry more passengers
D. because it ran with greater force and speed

3. From the information contained in the passage, it seems reasonable to infer which of the following?
A. Many passengers were frightened about traveling on his new locomotive.
B. George Stephenson’s inventions laid the basic foundations for modern day public trains and railways.
C. Profits in the coal industry increased after the invention of the locomotive.
D. Stephenson should have been able to invent a locomotive that could run faster.

ANSWERS:

1. C

2. D

3. B

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