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 21 July 2017:

Train Company Saturday services Sunday services Monday to Friday services Latest time of reservation Notes
Arriva Trains Wales 14 October
15 October

13 October

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 22 September

 

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

14 October

15 October

13 October

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

 


CrossCountry

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

14 October

15 October

13 October

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

14 October

15 October

13 October

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

7 October
8 October
13 October
Up to 23:59 the day before travel.


East Midlands Trains

London route

7 October
8 October
13 October
Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

Grand Central

14 October

15 October
13 October
Up to 4 hours before departing origin point.
Great Western Railway

7 October

8 October

13 October
 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

 2 September

3 September

13 October


Up to 23:59 the day before travel.


 Greater Anglia reservations, various restrictions will apply on weekends throughout September and until 8 October.

 

Hull Trains 7 October
8 October
13 October

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

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

 
London Midland 7 October
8 October
13 October
Further information will be added when available.

 

Northern

 

14 October

15 October
18 October
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 7 October
8 October
13 October

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

5 August 
6 August
11 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. South West Trains are not open on Sunday 30 July.

 

 

 

 

South West Trains

West of England

5 August

6 August

11 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.South West Trains are not open on Sunday 30 July.

 

 

 

South West Trains

Portsmouth route

for fares to Isle of Wight

5 August
6 August

11 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.South West Trains are not open on Sunday 30 July.

 

 

 

 

Southern 2 September
3 September
8 September
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

9 December

10 December
8 December
Up to 23:59 the day before travel.
Virgin Trains 9 December
3 December
8 December

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 are not open on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 September.


Virgin Trains East Coast

7 October

8 October

21 December

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.

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.