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 1 May 2015:

Train Company Saturday services Sunday services Monday to Friday services Notes
Abellio Greater Anglia 18 July

19 July

24 July  
Arriva Trains Wales 25 July 26 July 24 July Ferry reservations to Ireland are open up to 26 July
Caledonian Sleeper These can be booked 12 months in advance.
Chiltern Railways 25 July  26 July 24 July
CrossCountry

25 July

26 July 24 July

East Midlands Trains

Liverpool - Norwich route

18 July
19 July
24 July

East Midlands Trains

London route

18 July 19 July  24 July  
First Great Western 18 July 19 July 22 July

Some services on the London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads, South Wales, Swindon route are currently not open for reservations.

First Hull Trains 18 July 19 July 24 July
First TransPennine Express 25 July 19 July 24 July
Grand Central 25 July 26 July 24 July
London Midland 18 July     19 July 24 July
Northern Rail 25 July 19 July 24 July
ScotRail 18 July 19 July 24 July Sleeper services are open up to 30 March

South West Trains

Waterloo - Weymouth route

25 July 26 July 24 July South West Trains do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products.

South West Trains

West of England route

25 July 26 July 24 July 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

25 July 26 July 24 July South West Trains do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products.
Southern 20 June 21 June 19 June Southern do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products.
Virgin Trains 18 July  19 July 23 July   
Virgin Trains East Coast 25 July 26 July 24 July  

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.