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 26 September 2014:

Train Company Monday to Friday services Saturday services Sunday services Notes
Abellio Greater Anglia 12 December   13 December  

07 December

Arriva Trains Wales

19 December

6 December

21 December

On some Sundays reservations will not be open on services via Wrexham General and Chester.

Ferry reservations to Ireland are open up to 7 December

Chiltern Railways

12 December

13 December

7 December

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

CrossCountry

19 December  

20 December

21 December


East Coast

19 December  

20 December

21 December

 

East Midlands Trains

Liverpool - Norwich route

19 December 

13 December  

14 December  


East Midlands Trains

London route

19 December  

13 December  

14 December  


First Great Western

17 December

13 December  

14 December


First Hull Trains

12 December

13 December 

7 December 

 
First TransPennine Express

19 December   

20 December 

14 December 

 
Grand Central

19 December 

20 December 

21 December 


London Midland 12 December 

13 December 

7 December

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

Northern Rail

19 December 

13 December 

14 December

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

19 December 

13 December 

14 December

Sleeper services are open up to 19 December 

South West Trains

Waterloo - Weymouth route

12 December 

13 December

7 December

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

South West Trains

West of England route

12 December

13 December

7 December

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

12 December

13 December

7 December

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

Southern

12 December     

6 December 

7 December

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

There will be limited availability on some routes up to 19 December.

Virgin Trains

18 December 

13 December  

14 December  


 

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.