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.

Customers please note, there will be no train service across the network on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Advance ticket & reservation information last updated 17 November:

Train Company Saturday services Sunday services Monday to Friday services Latest time of reservation Notes
Arriva Trains Wales 10 February
11 February

09 February

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 4 Febuary

 

 

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

10 February

11 February

9 February

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

10 February

11 February

09 February

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

10 February

11 February

09 February

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

3 February
4 February
9 February
Up to 23:59 the day before travel.


East Midlands Trains

London route

3 February
4 February
9 February
Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

Grand Central

10 February

11 February

9 February
Up to 4 hours before departing origin point.
Great Western Railway

30 December

31 December

9 February
Up to 18:00 the day before.

 

.


Greater Anglia

03 February

04 February

09 February


Up to 23:59 the day before travel.


Greater Anglia reservations are closed for journeys to and from Clacton-on-Sea 21, 27 & 28 Jan. 3/4 Feb. Norwich Sunday  21/28 Jan. 3/4 Feb.  Closed on the Cambridge route on the following weekends:  01 6/7 13/14  20/21 27/28 Jan & 4 Feb.

 

Hull Trains 03 February
04 February
09 February

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

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

 
London Midland 03 February
04 February 

09 February

Further information will be added when available. London Midland services are currently closed between Wed 27 December and Friday 5 January.

Northern

 

10 February

11 February
14 February
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

03 February

 

04 February
09 February

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

Up to 2 hours before departing point of origin.


South Western Railway

Waterloo - Weymouth

16 December
26 November
30 January
Advance tickets are available up to 23:59 the day before travel.

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

 

 

 

 

South Western Railway

West of England

16 December

23 November

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

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

 

 

 

South Western Railway

Portsmouth route

for fares to Isle of Wight

16 December
26 November

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

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

 

 

 

 

Southern 6 January
7 January
26 January
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. Southern are currently closed from Sunday 24 December to Monday 2 January.
TransPennine Express

10 February

11 February
30 March
Up to 23:59 the day before travel.
Virgin Trains 24 February
28 January
28 February

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 are currently closed on Sundays 4, 11 & 18 February. These will hopefully open by 4 December.


Virgin Trains East Coast

27 January

28 January

27 April

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. Currently Closed all weekends from 20 January

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.