Reading signs is impossible but getting a ticket and using the rail is not difficult. The ticket office is just east of the main train station and a 1st class sleeper car train ticket cost about $22.
The monk waiting for the train happen to be my roommate on the way to Erdenet. Turns out he was not a monk but a Lama, same religious background as the Dalai Lama. He was traveling to Erdenet to visit with his family, spoke english too. Below he is helping me find the room.
Erdenet is a small city compared to UB and known for being the site of the largest copper mine in asia. The city really feels like a typical stereotype of the formal USSR, you can see images of Lenin everywhere.