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 4 March 2015:

Train Company Monday to Friday services Saturday services Sunday services Notes
Abellio Greater Anglia 15 May
9 May 10 May
Arriva Trains Wales 15 May
16 May
10 May
Ferry reservations to Ireland are open up to 16 May
Caledonian Sleeper These can be booked 12 months in advance.
Chiltern Railways 27 February, and then 7 April to 15 May    11 April to 9 May 12 April to 10 May Missing dates are due to unconfirmed timetables caused by the landslip between Banbury and Leamington Spa 
CrossCountry 22 May 23 May 24 May

East Midlands Trains

Liverpool - Norwich route

22 May
16 May
17 May

East Midlands Trains

London route

22 May
16 May
10 May

First Great Western 20 May 16 May 17 May
First Hull Trains 15 May
16 May 10 May

First TransPennine Express 22 May
23 May
17 May
North West route (Blackpool, Barrow, Windermere services) are only open until Saturday 16 May.  
Grand Central 22 May
23 May
24 May

London Midland 15 May 16 May 10 May
Northern Rail 22 May 23 May 17 May
ScotRail 22 May 16 May 17 May Sleeper services are open up to 30 March

South West Trains

Waterloo - Weymouth route

29 May 30 May 24 May South West Trains do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products.

South West Trains

West of England route

29 May 30 May 31 May South West Trains do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products.

South West Trains

Portsmouth route for fares to Isle of Wight

29 May 30 May 31 May South West Trains do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products.
Southern 15 May
9 May
10 May
Southern do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products.
Virgin Trains 14 May (except 4 May) 9 May (except 3 May) 10May (except 2 May)  
Virgin Trains East Coast 22 May
16 May
17 May
 

Special Events

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