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QOTD: The difficulty with the proposed high-speed train line

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QOTD: The difficulty with the proposed high-speed train line [#permalink]

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 132: Critical Reasoning


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The difficulty with the proposed high-speed train line is that a used plane can be bought for one-third the price of the train line, and the plane, which is just as fast, can fly anywhere. The train would be a fixed linear system, and we live in a world that is spreading out in all directions and in which consumers choose the free-wheel systems (cars, buses, aircraft), which do not have fixed routes. Thus a sufficient market for the train will not exist.

Which of the following, if true, most severely weakens the argument presented above?

(A) Cars, buses, and planes require the efforts of drivers and pilots to guide them, whereas the train will be guided mechanically.

(B) Cars and buses are not nearly as fast as the high-speed train will be.

(C) Planes are not a free-wheel system because they can fly only between airports, which are less convenient for consumers than the high-speed train's stations would be.

(D) The high-speed train line cannot use currently underutilized train stations in large cities.

(E) For long trips, most people prefer to fly rather than to take ground-level transportation.

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QOTD: The difficulty with the proposed high-speed train line [#permalink]

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New post 24 Oct 2017, 16:59
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles! (A classic 1980s comedy. I think it was probably funny, but I've killed a lot of brain cells since the 80s, and can't really remember...)

Here the author concludes that "a sufficient market for the {proposed high-speed} train will not exist." Why not?

  • The train would be a fixed linear system (with fixed routes).
  • Consumers prefer free-wheel systems (cars, buses, aircraft), which do not have fixed routes.
  • A plane would be just as fast as the proposed train, could fly anywhere (free-wheel), and would be cheaper.

So why build a high-speed train line when there is a cheaper, faster, and supposedly more flexible (i.e. free-wheel) option? Now that we understand the structure of the author's argument, we need to find something that weakens that argument:

Quote:
(A) Cars, buses, and planes require the efforts of drivers and pilots to guide them, whereas the train will be guided mechanically.

You might be tempted to choose (A) if you think, "Oh, maybe trains are safer because they leave less room for human error?". But we need something that weakens the author's specific argument, which states that a sufficient market for the train will not exist. The author's argument has nothing to do with safety or drivers/pilots vs mechanical guidance. Choice (A) has nothing to do with the market for a high-speed train or with free-wheel vs fixed route systems. Thus, choice (A) does not impact the author's argument and should be eliminated.

Quote:
(B) Cars and buses are not nearly as fast as the high-speed train will be.

Although cars and buses are cited as EXAMPLES of free-wheel systems, the author's argument focuses on planes versus high-speed trains (i.e. why build a train when planes are cheaper, faster, and more flexible)? Furthermore, choice (B) does not address the free-wheel versus fixed route argument made by the author. Even if the trains are much faster, customers might prefer free-wheel systems that allow them to travel anywhere and not just along fixed routes. Eliminate (B).

Quote:
(C) Planes are not a free-wheel system because they can fly only between airports, which are less convenient for consumers than the high-speed train's stations would be.

The passage states that consumers choose free-wheel systems that do not have fixed routes. If a free-wheel system is one that does not have fixed routes and planes are free to fly anywhere, then planes seem to represent a free-wheel system.

However, even though aircraft by themselves might be free-wheel, planes travel along fixed routes. Although planes can theoretically fly anywhere, in reality their routes are limited to airports at fixed locations. If we include the fact that consumers need to use these airports in order to actually travel by plane, the resulting system is not free-wheel.

Since the author's argument is that planes are cheaper, faster, and more flexible (i.e. free-wheel), choice (C) directly weakens that argument. Hang on to this one.

Quote:
(D) The high-speed train line cannot use currently underutilized train stations in large cities.

Choice (D) implies that new stations would have to be built in order to use the new high-speed trains. This point would likely be used to argue AGAINST building the high-speed trains. This point likely strengthens the author's argument. Regardless, choice (D) does not impact the author's reasoning and can be eliminated.

Quote:
(E) For long trips, most people prefer to fly rather than to take ground-level transportation.

As with choice (D), this seems to support the view that the train line should not be built. Regardless, choice (E) says nothing about the author's argument, which is based on the market for high-speed trains. Eliminate (E).

Choice (C) is the best answer.
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Re: QOTD: The difficulty with the proposed high-speed train line [#permalink]

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New post 24 Oct 2017, 19:18
IMO A
Conclusion:trains market will reduce
The reason behind the conclusion is trains have fixed path and cannot go anywhere like cars, buses and planes.

a:although seems incorrect as trains also need efforts of drivers it is not given -- lets hold this answer.
b:covers only cars and buses. planes are not covered. It is given in the passage that planes are just as fast as trains which contradicts option B. -- incorrect
c:Covers only planes. Cars and buses are free wheel system this can reduce trains market. -- incorrect
D and E strengthen the conclusion.

Hence correct answer is A

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Re: QOTD: The difficulty with the proposed high-speed train line [#permalink]

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New post 24 Oct 2017, 20:06
I will go with A as it talks about all the modes of transport given in stimulus

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QOTD: The difficulty with the proposed high-speed train line [#permalink]

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New post 24 Oct 2017, 20:43
The difficulty with the proposed high-speed train line is that a used plane can be bought for one-third the price of the train line, and the plane, which is just as fast, can fly anywhere. The train would be a fixed linear system, and we live in a world that is spreading out in all directions and in which consumers choose the free-wheel systems (cars, buses, aircraft), which do not have fixed routes. Thus a sufficient market for the train will not exist.

Type - weaken
- used plane will cost 1/3 price of train line and fly just as fast
- Train is a fixed linear system whereas customers prefer free-wheel systems
Boil it down - Sufficient market for train will not exist

(A) Cars, buses, and planes require the efforts of drivers and pilots to guide them, whereas the train will be guided mechanically. - Irrelevant - we don't know which of these options is preferable

(B) Cars and buses are not nearly as fast as the high-speed train will be. - Out of scope

(C) Planes are not a free-wheel system because they can fly only between airports, which are less convenient for consumers than the high-speed train's stations would be.- Correct - although planes can fly anywhere, in reality, they only fly between two airports

(D) The high-speed train line cannot use currently underutilized train stations in large cities. - Strengthens

(E) For long trips, most people prefer to fly rather than to take ground-level transportation. - Strengthens

Answer C
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Re: QOTD: The difficulty with the proposed high-speed train line [#permalink]

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New post 24 Oct 2017, 21:37
The argument challenged the train’s flexibility in its routes by taking examples of plane and free-wheel system. C is the weakener as it pointed out a mistake in plane-example.


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QOTD: The difficulty with the proposed high-speed train line [#permalink]

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New post 24 Oct 2017, 22:46
The difficulty with the proposed high-speed train line is that a used plane can be bought for one-third the price of the train line, and the plane, which is just as fast, can fly anywhere. The train would be a fixed linear system, and we live in a world that is spreading out in all directions and in which consumers choose the free-wheel systems (cars, buses, aircraft), which do not have fixed routes. Thus a sufficient market for the train will not exist.

Which of the following, if true, most severely weakens the argument presented above?


(C) Planes are not a free-wheel system because they can fly only between airports, which are less convenient for consumers than the high-speed train's stations would be.


Conclusion that we need to weaken --> a sufficient market for the train will not exist.
Reason given --> Train can run in fixed linear framework. Plane can fly anywhere
What we need to do --> attack the reason given.

Planes can't land anywhere but airports which are central to a city. For example, while trains can provide connectivity from one county to another, planes can not. In such cases consumers will prefer these fast trains over planes.
IMO "C"
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QOTD: The difficulty with the proposed high-speed train line [#permalink]

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New post 24 Oct 2017, 23:57
The difficulty with the proposed high-speed train line is that a used plane can be bought for one-third the price of the train line, and the plane, which is just as fast, can fly anywhere. The train would be a fixed linear system, and we live in a world that is spreading out in all directions and in which consumers choose the free-wheel systems (cars, buses, aircraft), which do not have fixed routes. Thus a sufficient market for the train will not exist.

First of all , In STRENGTHEN/WEAKEN we need an OUT of SCOPE answer THAT DIRECTLY ADDRESSES the MAIN ISSUE. you cannot strengthen or weaken while being in the scope of argument.

Now lets think this as REAL WORLD style...

My friend: High speed trains in our city wont work
Me: Y so
My Friend: Planes can fly any place we want and it does not require a fixed route. Also it is as fast
Me: This means cars / buses /planes are preferred to trains as they don't have fixed routes..

MAIN ISSUE: Planes better than cars => no fixed route

Now we need to c which option DIRECTLY ADDRESSES THE MAIN ISSUE

(A) Cars, buses, and planes require the efforts of drivers and pilots to guide them, whereas the train will be guided mechanically.
so what?? does it says anything about the FIXED ROUTE ISSUE...no...IRRELEVANT

(B) Cars and buses are not nearly as fast as the high-speed train will be.
again...we are concerned about only FIXED ROUTE issue...IRRELEVANT

(C) Planes are not a free-wheel system because they can fly only between airports, which are less convenient for consumers than the high-speed train's stations would be.
Now here is the point that says...NO, PLANES ARE NOT FREE WHEEL SYSTEM....but fixed route
Y because they can fly only between airports, which are less convenient for consumers than the high-speed train's stations would be.


So it directly breaks the MAIN ISSUE...so weakens..CORRECT

(D) The high-speed train line cannot use currently underutilized train stations in large cities.
not related to our MAIN ISSUE...IRRELEVANT

(E) For long trips, most people prefer to fly rather than to take ground-level transportation.
Long trips does not affects the Fixed route issue...IRRELEVANT

Answer: C

Hope this helps

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Re: QOTD: The difficulty with the proposed high-speed train line [#permalink]

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New post 25 Oct 2017, 07:09
The difficulty with the proposed high-speed train line is that a used plane can be bought for one-third the price of the train line, and the plane, which is just as fast, can fly anywhere. The train would be a fixed linear system, and we live in a world that is spreading out in all directions and in which consumers choose the free-wheel systems (cars, buses, aircraft), which do not have fixed routes. Thus a sufficient market for the train will not exist.

Which of the following, if true, most severely weakens the argument presented above?

(A) Cars, buses, and planes require the efforts of drivers and pilots to guide them, whereas the train will be guided mechanically. -We are not worried about the efforts included.

(B) Cars and buses are not nearly as fast as the high-speed train will be. -We are not worried about the speed of the vehicles.

(C) Planes are not a free-wheel system because they can fly only between airports, which are less convenient for consumers than the high-speed train's stations would be. -Correct. If other means of transport are not convenient then the trains won't loose their identity.

(D) The high-speed train line cannot use currently underutilized train stations in large cities. -At the most, this strengthens the argument

(E) For long trips, most people prefer to fly rather than to take ground-level transportation. -This strengthens the argument.
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Re: QOTD: The difficulty with the proposed high-speed train line [#permalink]

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C wins.

As argument explains some issues and suggests these issues will change the trend: planes will replace trains.

However, as mentioned in C - there are some major limitations of planes, so trains could not be replaced.

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QOTD: The difficulty with the proposed high-speed train line [#permalink]

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New post 25 Oct 2017, 12:23
The difficulty with the proposed high-speed train line is that a used plane can be bought for one-third the price of the train line, and the plane, which is just as fast, can fly anywhere. The train would be a fixed linear system, and we live in a world that is spreading out in all directions and in which consumers choose the free-wheel systems (cars, buses, aircraft), which do not have fixed routes. Thus a sufficient market for the train will not exist.

Which of the following, if true, most [b]severely weakens the argument presented above?[/b]

WEAKEN -- We need to look for an option which says even though the train has fixed routes then also a sufficient market for train will exist.

(A) Cars, buses, and planes require the efforts of drivers and pilots to guide them, whereas the train will be guided mechanically.
Though this is a plus point for the trains but still the train has fixed routes. So, this option adds nothing in our pocket to conclude anything.

(B) Cars and buses are not nearly as fast as the high-speed train will be.
Again, high speed is a plus point for trains but still the train has fixed routes. So, this option adds nothing in our pocket to conclude anything.

(C) Planes are not a free-wheel system because they can fly only between airports, which are less convenient for consumers than the high-speed train's stations would be.
Ohhh.. so its saying even though planes are free to fly anywhere but there path is even restricted because they can depart and arrive at the airports. So, it gives us an alternate reason that weakens the above conclusion. This goes in line with our prethinking. As travelling to airports would be less convenient for consumers than the high-speed train's stations would be. So, the sufficient market for the trains will exist.

(D) The high-speed train line cannot use currently under utilized train stations in large cities.
Even if the high-speed train line can use currently under utilized train stations in large cities, trains will still has fixed routes. So, this option adds nothing in our pocket to conclude anything.

(E) For long trips, most people prefer to fly rather than to take ground-level transportation.
Irrelevant. Also, what about short trips? Also what about the fixed routes?

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Re: QOTD: The difficulty with the proposed high-speed train line [#permalink]

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New post 26 Oct 2017, 08:11
This is a weaken type question. The answer must be option C. My take :

Premise : A plane can be bought at one-third the cost of a high speed train line and can fly as fast anywhere. The train is a fixed linear system and the world we live in is spreading out in all directions and customers choose free wheel systems which do not have fixed routes.

Conclusion : Fixed train systems do not have any market

Pre-think : The author's conclusion is based on the fact that customers choose a free wheel system. In other words, author makes this conclusion because customer has a preference. What if there is some other attribute about planes that customers would not choose over high speed trains ?? In such a case the argument falls apart.

POE :

Option a : Irrelevant
Option b : Irrelevant
Option c : As per our pre-think
Option d :Irrelevant
Option e : Out of scope

The answer is option C.
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Re: QOTD: The difficulty with the proposed high-speed train line   [#permalink] 26 Oct 2017, 08:11
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