Applying maths to solve problems in the real world…

Ferry & train times

Difficulty: Rating:

GCSE Marks:

GCSE Text: A train leaves Folkestone station every 40 minutes bound for Calais in France. Meanwhile, a ferry leaves the port of Dover every 90 minutes also sailing to Calais. A train and a ferry both leave at 8am each morning.

When will be the next time after 8am when a train and a ferry are leaving at the same time?

Suggestions:
Whenever used, students find the footage of a busy port and the train terminal captivating, and many constructive conversations often follow about costs and speed of travel. Students will solve this in around 5 minutes, and may choose to list each departure time for both ferries, or calculate the LCM of the intervals. Either way is appropriate and worthy of discussion.

Extension Ideas: Teachers could extend the learning by considering:

A ferry can carry up to 1750 passengers and 1000 cars. A Eurotunnel train can carry up to 120 cars and 8 coaches. Express the train’s car capacity as a percentage of the ferry’s car capacity.

The distance from Dover to Calais is 26 miles. How far is this in km?

Ferries travel at an average speed of 15 miles per hr. As the distance from Dover to Calais is 26 miles, how long is a typical sailing (in hrs and mins)?