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  25 November 2016:

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

18 February

 

 

19 February

 

 

17 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 12 February
Caledonian Sleeper These can be booked 12 months in advance.
Chiltern Railways

18 February

19 February

 

17 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

18
February


19
February

 

17
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

18
February

 

19 February

 

 

17 February

 

 

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

11 February
12 February
17 February
Up to 23:59 the day before travel.


East Midlands Trains

London route

11 February

12 February
17 February
Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

Grand Central

18
February

19
February
17
February
Up to 4 hours before departing origin point.
Great Western Railway 11 February


12 February

 

17 February
 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.

Services operating to/from London Paddington, on Saturday 10th December, are currently unavailable for reservations
Greater Anglia

4 February

 

 

5 February

10 February


Up to 23:59 the day before travel.


Greater Anglia are not open on  the London to Cambridge route on 19/20, 26/27 Nov and 3/4 Dec.

Hull Trains 11 February
12 February
17 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 11 February
12 February
17 February
Further information will be added when available.

 

Northern

 

18
February

19
February
22
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 11 February
12 February
17
February

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

14 January
15 January
16
February
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

14 January
15 January
16
February
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

14 January
15 January
16
February
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 11 February
12 February
10 February
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.
TransPennine Express

18
February

19
February
17
February
Up to 23:59 the day before travel.  TransPennine Express are not open on their Anglo-Scottish services on mid-week from Monday 13th December to Friday 13th January.
Virgin Trains 11 February
12 February
17
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 East Coast

11 February

12 February
17
February

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.