Pyin Oo Lwin Train StationThe Pyin Oo Lwin Train Station
From Mandalay to Pyin Oo Lwin, the 42 miles drive will take about 4 hrs, unless there are delay. From Mandalay the train (131 UP) leaves at 4am and arriving at Pyin Oo Lwin around 8am. There' s only one train a train in each way. They are so common that with Pyin Oo Lwin they even have a specially pre-painted board to indicate the estimated date of your flight.
The train was 2 1/2 hrs too slow that date. The Mandalay is about 250 ft above sealevel and Pyin Oo Lwin is 3,506 ft above sealevel, so the train has to ascend about 3,250 ft. This is done by a series of hot needles, where the train has to stop and turn around the next section.
From October 2017 the price for the ordinaryclass from Mandalay to Pyin Oo Lwin will be 550 Kyats or 40 US-Cent. When you want to go to the Upper Class, you will throw back 1200 Kyats or 88 US-Cent. By way of comparison: A collective taxis costs 5,500 Kyats per passenger or about 18,500 - 22,500 Kyats for a personal one.
The Upper Class has padded seating, while the Ordinary Class gets by with wood seating. The Pyin Oo Lwin station has a charming nostalgia. There are chimneys in the stationmaster's offices and the lounge to keep the morning cool. At the station there is a comfortable eatery where you can end the day with a nice cuppa.
A lot of visitors take the train via Pyin Oo Lwin to Hsipaw or Lashio or just a round tour to the Gokteik Viaduct, which with a hight of 102 meters and a length of 689 meters was the biggest rail link in the whole wide globe when it was built in 1901.
I suggest The Man in Seat 61 for more information on train travel in Myanmar (and most other countries).