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The Westinghouse air brake, first demonstrated successfully in 1868,

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The Westinghouse air brake, first demonstrated successfully in 1868,  [#permalink]

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19 Jul 2016, 22:58
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72% (01:33) correct 28% (01:44) wrong based on 415 sessions

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The Westinghouse air brake, first demonstrated successfully in 1868, had been developed to such an extent by 1887 that a train of 50 freight cars travelling at 20 miles per hour could be brought to a standstill in the space of 171 feet, whereas before they required 5 hand brakes over a distance of 1,500 feet for such a train to be stopped.

A whereas before they required 5 hand brakes over a distance of 1,500 feet for such a train to be stopped

B whereas previously 5 hand brakes operating over a distance of 1,500 feet had been required to stop such a train

C but before stopping the train required 5 hand brakers operating over a distance of 1,500 feet

D but previously they required 5 hand brakers over a distance of 1,500 feet stopping the train

E but before stopping such a train required 5 hand brakers over a distance of 1,500 feet

MY APPROACH

whereas ..... represents "contrast" better than but..

PARALLELISM issues here too

but i think meaning wise.... A makes it appear that the brakes are over 1500 feet in length... THEY has no antecedent.. no noun given previously that THEY can logicaly refer too..

C 'hand brakers' ??? also after whereas simple past tense is being used.. not parallel with the "had been" present perfect tense used in the eariler cause..

D. " they" has no antecedent... hand brakers... how can they be over 1500 ft??

E. hand brakers ( whatever they are) .. cannot be over 1500 feet.. (they can be positioned at points covering a distance of 1500 feet..)

B had been in the first clause... parallel to had been in the second cause.. past perfect - past perfect..
OPERATING over a distance gives clear meaning...

KINDLY HIGHLIGHT WHATEVER I MIGHT HAVE MISSED.
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Re: The Westinghouse air brake, first demonstrated successfully in 1868,  [#permalink]

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20 Jul 2016, 02:12
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The Westinghouse air brake, first demonstrated successfully in 1868, had been developed to such an extent by 1887 that a train of 50 freight cars travelling at 20 miles per hour could be brought to a standstill in the space of 171 feet, whereas before they required 5 hand brakes over a distance of 1,500 feet for such a train to be stopped.

A whereas before they required 5 hand brakes over a distance of 1,500 feet for such a train to be stopped

B whereas previously 5 hand brakes operating over a distance of 1,500 feet had been required to stop such a train

C but before stopping the train required 5 hand brakers operating over a distance of 1,500 feet

D but previously they required 5 hand brakers over a distance of 1,500 feet stopping the train

E but before stopping such a train required 5 hand brakers over a distance of 1,500 feet

I like to compare the differences and here I see whereas vs. but. I’m not very secure about the rule for each, so I’m going to look at something else.

• What jumps out is the use of the pronoun, “they.” 2-2-1 split with “they required” vs. “stopping the train” and B says, “5 hand brakes.”
• With the use of the word “whereas,” there needs to be some form of contrast/comparison. We need to compare hand brakes to hand brakes. B is the only one that does this.
• This is a good illustration on why not to go for style first. Many students would eliminate had been required to stop because it’s passive, but grammar trumps style.
• For sake of the full illustration, “they required” : who is they? Hand brake is not a “they” Elminate A and D.
• Stopping the train with hand brakers. Hand brakers is not the right comparison to hand brake. Eliminate C and E.

B
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Re: The Westinghouse air brake, first demonstrated successfully in 1868,  [#permalink]

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20 Jul 2016, 01:34
see the non -underlined portion first... and check the bold part i highlighted

The Westinghouse air brake, first demonstrated successfully in 1868, had been developed to such an extent by 1887

the above verb tense(bold) means that this technique is not used now.it was used but not now

the second part of the sentence which is underlined gives us an info about a technique which was previously used as compared to the non underlined first part of the sentence .
So this infers , had been is req again for underlined portion. coz this technique was used way way before.

only B shows this contrast with proper meaning.
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Re: The Westinghouse air brake, first demonstrated successfully in 1868,  [#permalink]

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12 Sep 2018, 05:41
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The Westinghouse air brake, first demonstrated successfully in 1868, had been developed to such an extent by 1887 that a train of 50 freight cars travelling at 20 miles per hour could be brought to a standstill in the space of 171 feet, whereas before they required 5 hand brakes over a distance of 1,500 feet for such a train to be stopped.

A whereas before they required 5 hand brakes over a distance of 1,500 feet for such a train to be stopped

B whereas previously 5 hand brakes operating over a distance of 1,500 feet had been required to stop such a train

C but before stopping the train required 5 hand brakers operating over a distance of 1,500 feet

D but previously they required 5 hand brakers over a distance of 1,500 feet stopping the train

E but before stopping such a train required 5 hand brakers over a distance of 1,500 feet

There seems to be some problem with the question, probably in the transcription. The use of the word 'hand brakers' is jarring. There is no such word as 'hand brakers.' It should be only handbrakes. Notwithstanding that,

If in the hall, if you find it too hard to decipher the difference between 'whereas' and 'but,' try this shorter method

A, and D are merely gone since there is no referent to the plural 'they.'

C and E are gone as they are using simple past tense for the earlier event that happened before 1887. Of course, we may console ourselves that the word 'before' has been used to mark the timeline, but in that case, the question remains as to why a past perfect ' had been developed' used even with a following timeline of the year 1887.

Therefore, B is crisp and clear.
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Re: The Westinghouse air brake, first demonstrated successfully in 1868,  [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2019, 08:08
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"such a train" is correct. "the train" is incorrect because there are 2 similar trains, but not 1 train.
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Re: The Westinghouse air brake, first demonstrated successfully in 1868,  [#permalink]

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02 Oct 2019, 00:17
egmat VeritasKarishma GMATNinja please help with option C and E. since we have word 'before' usage of past perfect is optional. Also, the first perfect 'had been developed' is an earlier event then what is later event in the sentence.
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Re: The Westinghouse air brake, first demonstrated successfully in 1868,  [#permalink]

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03 Oct 2019, 03:55
kj1993 wrote:
egmat VeritasKarishma GMATNinja please help with option C and E. since we have word 'before' usage of past perfect is optional. Also, the first perfect 'had been developed' is an earlier event then what is later event in the sentence.

The W... had been developed to such an extent by 1887 that a train of 50 cars could be stopped in the space of 171 feet, whereas previously 5 hand brakes operating over a distance of 1,500 feet had been required to stop such a train.

Notice the contrast in the sentence - by 1887, 50 cars could be stopped in 171 feet, whereas previously 5 hand brakes over 1500 feet were required

... but before stopping the train required 5 hand brakers operating over a distance of 1,500 feet
It is unclear what role before plays here. It sounds like the train required 5 hand brakes before stopping and that begs to ask the question - what about after stopping?
What we want to say is that previously, the train required 5 hand brakes to stop.

Also use of whereas is better.
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Re: The Westinghouse air brake, first demonstrated successfully in 1868,  [#permalink]

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30 Oct 2019, 01:38
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Re: The Westinghouse air brake, first demonstrated successfully in 1868,  [#permalink]

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01 Nov 2019, 06:49
kshitij ghildiyal wrote:
The Westinghouse air brake, first demonstrated successfully in 1868, had been developed to such an extent by 1887 that a train of 50 freight cars travelling at 20 miles per hour could be brought to a standstill in the space of 171 feet, whereas before they required 5 hand brakes over a distance of 1,500 feet for such a train to be stopped.

A whereas before they required 5 hand brakes over a distance of 1,500 feet for such a train to be stopped

B whereas previously 5 hand brakes operating over a distance of 1,500 feet had been required to stop such a train

C but before stopping the train required 5 hand brakers operating over a distance of 1,500 feet

D but previously they required 5 hand brakers over a distance of 1,500 feet stopping the train

E but before stopping such a train required 5 hand brakers over a distance of 1,500 feet

My analysis:
*Assuming that "hand brakers" is wrong typed instead of "hand brakes"

Main sentence:
a. They refers to train of 50 freight cars - wrong. "Train" is singular
b. 5 hand brakes over a distance of 1500 - wrong. Sentence coveys a funny meaning. We can have a hand brake "operating" over 1500m and not a hand brake as long as 1500 m
c. to be stopped - Better solution would be a active voice

Option C:
As mentioned by VeritasKarishma in her post, "before stopping the train required - wrong. It is as if before we stop the train we require 5 hand brakes. The meaning is we need 5 hand brakes to stop the train

Option D:
a. 5 hand brakes over a distance of 1500m - same issue as mentioned in "main sentence"
b. "They" - wrong

Option E:
Same issues as in option C

Option B - Correct
Would appreciate if anyone could verify if my understanding is correct
There are predominantly 3 actions - By 1887, Had been developed, had been required
By 1887 - we need to infer the meaning that 1887 ended - latest action of the three
There are two other actions preceding the ending of 1887 - had been developed and had been required.
Since, both the actions occurred before 1887 - we need to use past perfect tense to signal the timeline

Thank you!
Re: The Westinghouse air brake, first demonstrated successfully in 1868,   [#permalink] 01 Nov 2019, 06:49
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