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 16 November


Caledonian Sleeper

 
These can be booked 12 months in advance.

Chiltern Railways

 

Saturday service:

2 February

Sunday service:

3 February

Monday to Friday service:

8 February

Latest time of reservation:

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

Notes

CrossCountry - East to West routes

 

Routes: 

Between Nottingham and Cardiff via Birmingham, Stansted Airport and Birmingham New Street via Leicester

Saturday service:

9 February

Sunday service:

10 February

Monday to Friday service:

8 February

Latest time of reservation:

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

Notes:

Birmingham to Cardiff is closed on 29 December to 4 January inclusive, and on 2 February.
 
Birmingham to Stansted is closed on Sunday 20 January and Sunday 3 February.
 

CrossCountry - North to South routes

 

Routes:

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

Saturday service:

9 February

Sunday service:

10 February

Monday to Friday service:

8 February

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 15 minutes before customers board the train when booked through CrossCountry's website or app, and at a select number of online retailers / travel agents.

Notes:

Birmingham - South West is closed on Sunday 13 January and Saturday 2 February.

Reading - Southampton / Bournemouth is closed on 5 / 6 and 19 / 20 January, and also on 3 / 4 February.

Birmingham - Newcastle / Scotland is closed for Sunday dates after 6 January.

East Midlands Trains - Between Liverpool and Norwich

 

Saturday service:

19 January

Sunday service:

20 January

Monday to Friday service:

8 February

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

Notes:

Closed on 24, 27, 29, 30, 31 December and 1 January.

East Midlands Trains - London route

 

Saturday service:

2 February

Sunday service:

27 January

Monday to Friday service:

8 February

Notes: Reservations are not open on the 23 December, and also from 24 December to 1 January 

Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

Grand Central

 

Saturday service:

2 February

Sunday service:

3 February

Monday to Friday service:

8 February

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 4 hours before departing origin point.

Great Western Railway

 

Saturday service:

12 January

Sunday service:

13 January

Monday to Friday service:

8 February

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 18:00 the day before. 

Notes:

Reservations are not open for the following dates:

London to South Wales:

London to Cheltenham:

London to West of England: 

Cardiff to Portsmouth / Brighton:

Greater Anglia / Stansted Express

 

Saturday service:

5 January

Sunday service:

6 January

Monday to Friday service:

25 January

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 23:59 the day before travel. 

Notes:

Reservations are not open on the following routes / dates:

Cambridge route: 23 December to 1 January and 5 / 6 / 12 / 13 / 19 / 20 January

Norwich route: 13 / 20 January

Clacton route: Closed 30 December until 1 January and also on 6 / 13/ 20 January.

Hull Trains

 

Saturday service:

2 February

Sunday service:

3 February

Monday to Friday service:

8 February

Notes:

Advance bookings are not currently available for Saturday 5 / Sunday 6 January, or for Saturday 12 / Sunday 13 January.

Latest time of reservation:

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

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

London North Eastern Railway

 

Saturday service:

2 February

Sunday service:

27 January

Monday to Friday service:

1 February

Latest time of reservation:

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

Up to 2 hours before departing point of origin.

Notes:

Reservations / advance tickets are not available on the following dates:

Tuesday 1 January

Saturday 5 January / Sunday 6 January

Saturday 12 January / Sunday 13 January

Sunday 27 January

Sunday 3 February

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. 

Northern

 

Saturday service:

8 December

Sunday service:

29 December

Monday to Friday service:

7 December

Latest time of reservation:

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

Notes:

Some Northern services are open for weekdays between 10 December and 6 February, and for Sundays until 6 January.

Northern do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products.

ScotRail

 

Saturday service:

2 February

Sunday service:

3 February

Monday to Friday service:

8 February

Latest time of reservation:

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

Up to 2 hours before departing point of origin.

Notes:

Reservations / Advanced Purchase tickets are currently not available on the following routes / dates.

Currently closed on all routes on Wednesday 2 January.

Saturday's 5 & 12 and Sunday's 6, 13, 20 January - Between Glasgow Queen Street and Aberdeen / Inverness / Perth / Dundee.

Sunday 13 and 20 January - Between Edinburgh / Glasgow Queen Street and Aberdeen / Inverness / Perth / Dundee.

Sunday 27 January and 3 February- Between Edinburgh and Aberdeen / Inverness / Perth / Dundee.

Southeastern

 

Saturday service:

19 January

Sunday service:

20 January

Monday to Friday service:

30 January

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 18:00 the day before.

Notes:

Southeastern do not offer a specific seat allocation but use quota controls for controlling Advance tickets.

Weekend services will only be opened once train times have been confirmed.

Southern

 

Saturday service:

Not available

Sunday service:

Not available

Monday to Friday service:

1 February

Latest time of reservation:

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

Notes:

Weekend services will only be opened once train times have been confirmed.

Southern do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products.  

South Western Railway - Between London Waterloo and Weymouth

 

Saturday service:

15 December

Sunday service:

9 December

Monday to Friday service:

7 December

Latest time of reservation:

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

Notes:

South Western Railway do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products.  

South Western Railway - West of England

 

Saturday service:

22 December

Sunday service:

23 December

Monday to Friday service:

25 January

Latest time of reservation:

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

Notes:

 

South Western Railway do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products.  

South Western Railway - Portsmouth route, Isle of Wight

 

Saturday service:

15 December

Sunday service:

16 December

Monday to Friday service:

7 December

Latest time of reservation:

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

Notes:

Reservations are not available on 9 December to / from Portsmouth.

South Western Railway do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products. 

TransPennine Express

 

Saturday service:

26 January

Sunday service:

27 January

Monday to Friday service:

1 February

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 23:59 the day before travel. 

Notes:

TransPennine Express are not open on the following dates:

TransPennine Express Mainline routes:

Services between Liverpool/Manchester and Leeds, Hull, York, Scarborough, Middlesbrough and Newcastle

  • Services to / from Newcastle, Scarborough and Middlesbrough are closed Thursday 27 December to Tuesday 1 January.
  • Services to / from Hull are closed  24, 27 & 31 December, 1 January
Services between Manchester, Sheffield, Doncaster and Cleethorpes
  • Some morning / evening services are closed on 24, 27, 31 December and 1 January.

Manchester Airport – Manchester – Preston – Carlisle – Glasgow / Edinburgh

Available for booking until 29th March 2019 except for:

  • Some morning / evening trains on 24, 27 & 31 December and 1 January.
  • 13 January - 10 February.

Transport for Wales

 

Saturday service:

22 December

Sunday service:

23 December

Monday to Friday service:

21 December

Latest time of reservation:

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

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

Notes:

Ferry reservations to Ireland are open to 23 December.

Virgin Trains

 

Saturday service:

26 January

Sunday service:

27 January

Monday to Friday service:

31 January

Latest time of reservation:

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.

Notes: 

Currently closed on the following dates 24 - 31 December, 1 and 2 January.

 

West Midlands Trains

 

Saturday service:

26 January

Sunday service:

27 January

Monday to Friday service:

1 February

Latest time of reservation:

Information will be added when available.

Notes:

No advance tickets are currently available from Monday 24 December until Tuesday 1 January.

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.