Buying Advance tickets and reserving seats

When can I buy Advance Tickets and make seat reservations?

Below is a summary of the farthest travel dates in the future where it is possible to reserve seats today for those Train Companies offering seat reservations and Advance tickets .

Advance tickets are generally not available earlier than 12 weeks before the date of travel. 

Once train times are confirmed, Advance tickets will begin to appear in our Journey Planner. You will be able to find full details of availability and choose to buy them from your preferred retailer.

Advance tickets are sold in limited numbers, and so subject to availability.

Information about buying tickets

Changes to train times

Sometimes, there can be changes to train times at weekends and bank holidays to allow essential engineering work to be carried out. Trains may be retimed or re-routed. Occasionally the journey may involve travelling on a bus service.  We have a dedicated area of our website which gives details about future engineering work.

Train Companies aim to provide information about changes to train times twelve weeks in advance.

Until the changes to the timetable are confirmed it is not always possible to buy Advance tickets or to make seat reservations on train services that may be affected by engineering work

Advance ticket & reservation information last updated 19 May 2017:

Train Company Saturday services Sunday services Monday to Friday services Latest time of reservation Notes
Arriva Trains Wales 12 August
13 August

11 August

Up to 19:00 day before travel for some early morning trains.

Other services up to 4 hours before departure point of origin 

 

Ferry reservations to Ireland are open to 4 August

 

Caledonian Sleeper These can be booked 12 months in advance.
Chiltern Railways

12 August

13 August

11 August

Advance tickets are available up to 18:00 the day before travel.

 

Not open on Bank Holidays 1 and 29 May.
CrossCountry

Between Nottingham and Cardiff via Birmingham, Birmingham and Stansted Airport via Leicester, Peterborough and Cambridge

12 August

13 August

11 August

Up to 21:00 the day before travel but some routes may close earlier.  

CrossCountry

Between Scotland and South West, Newcastle and Southampton, Manchester and Bournemouth / Bristol

12 August

13 August

11 August

Up to 10 minutes before customers board the train when booked through all CrossCountry channels and at a select number of online retailers / travel agents  
East Midlands Trains

 

Liverpool - Norwich route

5 August
6 August
11 August
Up to 23:59 the day before travel.


East Midlands Trains

London route

5 August
6 August
11 August
Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

Grand Central

12 August

13 August
11 August
Up to 4 hours before departing origin point.
Great Western Railway

5 August

6 August

11 August
 75% of services up to 2 hours before before departing point of origin.

20% of services up to19:30 day before travel for early morning services

5% of services up to 5 hours before departing point of origin from some stations.


Greater Anglia

 05 August

06 August

11 August


Up to 23:59 the day before travel.


 

 

Hull Trains 05 August
06 August
11 August

Up to 15:00 day before travel for early morning services.

Other services up to 4 hours before departing point of origin.

 
London Midland 05 August
06 August
11 August
Further information will be added when available.

 

Northern

 

12 August

13 August
16 August
Advance tickets are available up to 23:59 the day before travel.
Northern do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products.
 
ScotRail 05 August
06 August
11 August

Up to 23:59 day before travel for some early morning trains.

Up to 2 hours before departing point of origin.


South West Trains

Waterloo - Weymouth

08 July
09 July
4 August
Advance tickets are available up to 23:59 the day before travel.

South West Trains do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products.

Not open on Saturdays 10 & 17 June and on Sundays 11 & 18 June.

 

 

 

South West Trains

West of England

08 July


09 July

4 August
Advance tickets are available up to 23:59 the day before travel

South West Trains do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products. Are not open on Saturdays 10 & 17 June and Sundays 11 & 18 June.

 

 

 

South West Trains

Portsmouth route

for fares to Isle of Wight

08 July
09 July

4 August
Advance tickets are available up to 23:59 the day before travel.

South West Trains do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products.

Not open on  Saturdays 10 & 17 June and on Sundays 11 & 18 June.

 

 

 

Southern 08 July
09 July
07 July
Advance tickets are available up to 23:59 the day before travel. Southern do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products.
TransPennine Express

14 October

15 October
13 October
Up to 23:59 the day before travel. There are no reservations open on weekends between Saturday 2 and Sunday 17 September.

TransPennine Express are not open on their Liverpool to Newcastle route between 22 and 30 July and Saturday 30 September to Sunday 15 October.

There are no Anglo Scottish services available on Saturdays and Sundays from 2 September to 1 October inclusive and no North or South route services available on the 5/6 August.
Virgin Trains 19 August
06 August
24 August

Trains departing point of origin before 11:00 up to 23:59 the day before travel.

Trains departing point of origin after 11:00 up to 4 hours before departing point of origin.


Virgin Trains East Coast

26 August

27 August

03 November

Up to 23:59 day before travel for some early morning trains.

Up to 2 hours before departing point of origin.

Tickets are available further in advance for most weekday journeys between London and the stations north of York, including Newcastle and Edinburgh. Subject to exceptions, such as Bank Holiday periods.
Virgin Trains East Coast are currently closed on Saturday 26 August to 28 August. All weekends in September &   October 2017

Special Events

Please note: NO trains will operate on Christmas Day. On Boxing Day some Train Operating Companies will run a very limited service. 

The availability of Advance tickets could be affected by special events taking place along the route of the journey. Please check before travelling.