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 18 August 2017:

Train Company Saturday services Sunday services Monday to Friday services Latest time of reservation Notes
Arriva Trains Wales 11 November
12 November

10 November

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 12 November

 

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

11 November

12 November

10 November

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

11 November

12 November

10 November

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

11 November

12 November

10 November

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

04 November
05 November
10 November
Up to 23:59 the day before travel.


East Midlands Trains

London route

04 November
05 Novemberr
10  November
Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

Grand Central

04 November

05 November
03 November
Up to 4 hours before departing origin point.
Great Western Railway

28 October

29 October

03 November
 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

30 September

01 October

03 November


Up to 23:59 the day before travel.


 Greater Anglia reservations, various restrictions will apply on weekends throughout September and until 15 October.

 

Hull Trains 04 November
05 November
10 November

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

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

 
London Midland 4 November
5 November
10 November
Further information will be added when available.

 

Northern

 

4 November

5 November
15 November
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 4 November
5 November
10 November

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

12 August 
13 August
10 November
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. Approx 75% of services are open from Mon 14 to Fri 18 August and from Mon 21 to Thur 24 August.

 

 

 

 

South West Trains

West of England

12 August

13 August

10 November
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. Approx 50% of services are open from Mon 14 to Fri 18 August and from Mon 21 to Thur 24 August.

 

 

 

South West Trains

Portsmouth route

for fares to Isle of Wight

12 August
13 August

10 November
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.

 

 

 

 

Southern 30 September
01 October
06 October
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

3 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 East Coast

4 November

5 November

2 February

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.