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 January.


Caledonian Sleeper

 
These can be booked 12 months in advance.

Chiltern Railways

 

Saturday service:

6 April

Sunday service:

7 April

Monday to Friday service:

5 April

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:

13 April

Sunday service:

14 April

Monday to Friday service:

12 April

Latest time of reservation:

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

Notes:

Birmingham to Stansted Airport is closed on 10 / 24 February and 3 March.
 
Birmingham to Cardiff is closed on 31 March and 7 April.
 
Birmingham to Nottingham is closed 31 March and 7 April.

CrossCountry - North to South routes

 

Routes:

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

Saturday service:

13 April

Sunday service:

14 April

Monday to Friday service:

12 April

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 - Manchester is closed on 31 March and 7 April.

Birmingham - Reading is closed on 16 / 17 March.

Birmingham - South West is closed from 23 February to 8 March. Also closed on 16 / 17, 23 / 24 and 30 / 31 March.

Reading - Southampton / Bournemouth is closed on  3 / 16 / 17 / 30 / 31 March and 6 / 7 April.

Birmingham - Newcastle / Scotland is closed 2 / 3 & 16 March

East Midlands Trains - Between Liverpool and Norwich

 

Saturday service:

7 April

Sunday service:

31 March

Monday to Friday service:

12 April

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

Notes:

East Midlands Trains - London route

 

Saturday service:

7 April

Sunday service:

24 March

Monday to Friday service:

12 April

Notes: Reservations are not open on the 10 March.

Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

Grand Central

 

Saturday service:

2 March

Sunday service:

3 March

Monday to Friday service:

5 April

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 4 hours before departing origin point.

Great Western Railway

 

Saturday service:

30 March

Sunday service:

31 March

Monday to Friday service:

17 May

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 18:00 the day before. 

Notes:

Reservations are not open for the following dates:

London to South Wales: Closed Sunday 17 March.

London to West of England: Closed from 4 to 8 March, and on 2 / 3 March

Cardiff to Portsmouth: Closed for dates after Friday 5 April.

Greater Anglia / Stansted Express

 

Saturday service:

6 April

Sunday service:

7 April

Monday to Friday service:

12 April

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 23:59 the day before travel. 

Notes:

Reservations are not open on the following routes / dates:

Cambridge route: 3 / 10 / 17 / 23 / 24 February and 3 / 9 / 10 / 17 / 23 / 24 / 30 / 31 March  and 7 April

Norwich route:  16 / 17 / 23 / 24 / 30 / 31 March

Clacton route: 23 / 24 February and 2 / 3 / 9 / 10 / 16 / 17 / 23 / 24 / 30 / 31 March

Hull Trains

 

Saturday service:

6 April

Sunday service:

7 April

Monday to Friday service:

12 April

Notes:

Advance bookings are not currently available for Sundays 24 / 31 March.

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:

6 April

Sunday service:

7 April

Monday to Friday service:

12 April

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:Saturdays 9 / 16 / 23 and Sundays 10 / 17 / 24 March.

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:

2 March

Sunday service:

3 March

Monday to Friday service:

17 April

Latest time of reservation:

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

Notes:

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

ScotRail

 

Saturday service:

6 April

Sunday service:

7 April

Monday to Friday service:

12 April

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.

Some trains between Glasgow and Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Inverness, and also between Inverness and Aberdeen are not open for reservations on the 10 / 17 / 24 February and also on 3 / 10 / 17 March.

On Saturday 16 March reservations are not open for services between Edinburgh / Glasgow and Aberdeen / Inverness / Perth / Dundee, and also between Glasgow and Stranraer.

On Saturday 23, Sunday 24 and Monday 25 March, reservations are not open for services between Glasgow / Edinburgh and Inverness.

Southeastern

 

Saturday service:

2 March

Sunday service:

3 March

Monday to Friday service:

18 April

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:

6 April

Sunday service:

7 April

Monday to Friday service:

11 April

Latest time of reservation:

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

Notes:

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

Advance tickets are currently not available for the  9 / 10 and 16 / 17 March.

South Western Railway - Between London Waterloo and Weymouth

 

Saturday service:

6 April

Sunday service:

7 April

Monday to Friday service:

12 April

Latest time of reservation:

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

Notes:

Advance bookings are closed on 10 / 17 / 24 / 30 / 31 March and 6 / 7 April.

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

South Western Railway - West of England

 

Saturday service:

6 April

Sunday service:

7 April

Monday to Friday service:

12 April

Latest time of reservation:

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

Notes:

Advance bookings are closed for 5 - 7 and 12 - 14 March and also for Saturday 30 & Sundays 10 / 17 / 31 March.

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:

6 April

Sunday service:

7 April

Monday to Friday service:

12 April

Latest time of reservation:

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

Notes:

Advance bookings closed for Saturday 30 and Sundays 10 / 17 / 31 March

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

TransPennine Express

 

Saturday service:

18 May

Sunday service:

12 May

Monday to Friday service:

17 May

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 to / from Scarborough are closed on Saturday and Sunday 9 / 10,  16 / 17 and 23 / 24 March.

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

  • Services to / from Middlesbrough and Newcastle are closed on 9 / 10, 16 / 17 and 23 / 24 March.
  • 20 / 21 April 2019 Easter Saturday and Sunday – services are restricted due to engineering work between Stalybridge and Manchester.

Services to / from Hull

  • 31 March 2019 – services are restricted due to potential engineering work in the Gilberdyke area.

Services between Manchester, Sheffield, Doncaster and Cleethorpes

  • Some morning / evening services are closed 7 / 14 April and 12 May.

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

Available for booking until 17 May 2019 except for:

  • 20 - 22 April, 27 / 28 April.
  • 5 / 6 and 11 / 12 and 18 May.

Transport for Wales

 

Saturday service:

13 April

Sunday service:

14 April

Monday to Friday service:

12 April

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 14 April

Virgin Trains

 

Saturday service:

6 April

Sunday service:

7 April

Monday to Friday service:

11 April

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: 

West Midlands Trains

 

Saturday service:

6 April

Sunday service:

7 April

Monday to Friday service:

12 April

Latest time of reservation:

Information will be added when available.

Notes:

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.