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  23 September 2016:

Train Company Saturday services Sunday services Monday to Friday services Latest time of reservation Notes
Abellio Greater Anglia 10 December

11 December

16 December
Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

Abellio Greater Anglia are not open on the Norwich / Clacton route on 9 October or on the London to Cambridge route on 12/13, 19/20, 26/27 Nov and 3/4, 10/11 Dec.

 

 

Arriva Trains Wales

17 December

 

 

18 December

 

 

16 December

 

 

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

10 December

4 December

 

9 December

 

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

17 December


18 December

 

16 December

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

17 December

 

 

18 December

 

 

 

 

16 December

 

 

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

10 November
11 November
9 December
Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

East Midlands Trains are not open on all routes on the 4th December.

East Midlands Trains

London route

10 November
11 November
9 December
Up to 23:59 the day before travel.
East Midlands Trains are not open on all routes on the 4th December.
Grand Central

17 December

18 December
16 December
Up to 4 hours before departing origin point.
Great Western Railway 26 November
4 December
9 December
 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.


Hull Trains 10 December
4 December
9 December

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

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

 
London Midland 10 December
4 December
9 December
Further information will be added when available.

 

Northern

 

17 December 

18 December
21 December
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 10 December
4 December
9 December

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

10 December
4 December
9 December
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.

 

 

South West Trains

West of England route

10 December
4 December
9 December
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.

 

 

 

South West Trains

Portsmouth route for fares to Isle of Wight

10 December
4 December

 9 December
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 10 December
4 December
9 December
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. Trains will run to a revised timetable on weekdays. Further information can be found here.
TransPennine Express

17 December

18 December
16 December
Up to 23:59 the day before travel.  TransPennine Express are not open on their Anglo-Scottish services on Tuesday 6th and Wednesday 7th December.
Virgin Trains 10 December
4 December
21 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

10 December

11 December
16 December

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.