Buy advance train tickets, booking and seat reservation - National Rail

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 3 July 2015:

Train Company Saturday services Sunday services Monday to Friday services Latest time of reservation Notes
Abellio Greater Anglia 12 September

13 September

18 September (except Monday 31 August)  Up to 23:59 day before travel.

Arriva Trains Wales 26 September
27 September
25 September

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 up to 6 September
Caledonian Sleeper These can be booked 12 months in advance.
Chiltern Railways

19 September 

20 September 18 September  Further information will be added when available.

CrossCountry

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

 26 September
 27 September
 25 September

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

CrossCountry

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

 

 26 September  27 September  25 September Up to10 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

19 September
20 September
25 September
Up to 23:59 day before travel.

East Midlands Trains

London route

19 September
20 September
25 September
Up to 23:59 day before travel.

First Great Western 12 September 13 September 18 September

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.

 

First TransPennine Express 26 September 20 September 25 September Up to 18:00 day before travel.
Grand Central 26 September 27 September 25 September  Up to 4 hours before departing point of origin

Hull Trains 19 September 20 September 25 September

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

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

 
London Midland 19 September 20 September 25 September  Further information will be added when available.
Northern Rail 26 September 20 September 25 September Advance tickets are available up to 18:00 day before travel.
Northern Rail do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products.
ScotRail 19 September 20 September 25 September

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 route

19 September
20 September
25 September
Advance tickets are available up to 23:59 day before travel.

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

South West Trains

West of England route

19 September
20 September
25 September
Advance tickets are available up to 23:59 day before travel

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

19 September
20 September
25 September Advance tickets are available up to 23:59 day before travel.

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

Southern 12 September
13 September
18 September
Advance tickets are available up to 23:59 day before travel. Southern do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products.
Virgin Trains 19 September 20 September 24 September

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

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


Virgin Trains East Coast 26 September 27 September 25 September

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

Up to 2 hours before departing point of origin.

 

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.