Today’s prompt is to write about a train, so I would like to start with the kind of train we have in Singapore and then compare with the trains in Europe. What’s considered a train in Singapore is the Mass Rapid Transit, in short MRT. There are several rules to ride on a train and today, our train system has become rather sophisticated.

When I was in Taiwan, I realised our train systems are pretty much similar. The same is with the underground in London or Budapest. At times, they are interchangeably called the subway. Basically, subways rely on electrical and magnetic systems than trains. In Budapest, there are real trains that brings you out of Budapest to other cities across Europe. You can buy tickets online or from the operators. You can print at home the tickets or collect-at-station the tickets with no booking fees involved. Other ways include buying railpasses or even through travel agents.

In Singapore, you pay for the train as well as bus journeys using contactless stored value smartcards. It is possible to pay with cash to buy them. So whether by bus or train, the distance fare scheme means you pay for the distance you travel in a single journey, no more, no less. There are basically two types of tickets: Standard and Adult.

Standard Ticket can only be used on MRT and LRT rides for both single and return trips. It can be used up to six times within 30 days from the date of purchase. LRT is basically The Light Rail Transit (LRT), also known as the Light Rapid Transit. It is a series of localised automated guideway transit systems acting as feeder services to the heavy rail Mass Rapid Transit, which together with the LRT forms the core of Singapore‘s rail transport services.

As for the Adult Stored Value Smartcard, they can only be purchase in the two most common ways being EZ-Link and Nets FlashPay. You can get them from any Ticket Office or Passenger Service Centre. As you go, you can top-up via:

  • General Ticketing Machines
  • Add Value Machine Plus
  • TransitLink Ticket Office
  • AXS Stations
  • DBS/POSB/OCBC Automatic Teller Machines
  • 7-Eleven stores
  • SingPost outlets


The cities that I travelled to using the Budapest trains are: Venice, Krakow, Zagreb, Madrid. It is a nice experience traveling in the sleeper couchettes overnight and arriving first sight in the destinations. I found this website to have very good description about the trains from Budapest.



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