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 21 April 2017:

Train Company Saturday services Sunday services Monday to Friday services Latest time of reservation Notes
Arriva Trains Wales 15 July
16 July

14 July

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 04 June

Closed on Fri 2 and Sat 3 June Cardiff Central - Manchester Piccadilly due to Champions League Final.

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

15 July

16 July

14 July

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

 

Not open on Bank Holidays 1 and 29 May.
CrossCountry

 

Between Nottingham and Cardiff via Birmingham, Birmingham and Stansted Airport via Leicester, Peterborough and Cambridge

15 July

16 July

14 July

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

15 July

16 July

14 July

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

08 July
09 July
14 July
Up to 23:59 the day before travel.


East Midlands Trains

London route

08 July
09 July
14 July
Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

Grand Central

15 July

16 July
14 July
Up to 4 hours before departing origin point.
Great Western Railway

08 July

09 July

14 July
 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

08 July

09 July

14 July


Up to 23:59 the day before travel.


London - Norwich route currently closed on Sunday 4 June.

 

Hull Trains 08 July
09 July
14 July

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

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

 
London Midland 08 July
09 July
14 July
Further information will be added when available. London Midland are not open on Sunday 28 or Monday 29 May.

 

Northern

 

15 July

16 July
19 July
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.
Due to Industrial Action, quota controlled tickets will be unavailable on 8 April.
ScotRail 08 July
09 July
14 July

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

08 July
09 July
14 July
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.

Not open on Saturdays 10 & 17 June and on Sundays 11 & 18 June.

 

 

 

South West Trains

West of England route

08 July


09 July

14 July
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. Are not open on Saturdays 10 & 17 June and Sundays 11 & 18 June.

 

 

 

South West Trains

Portsmouth route for fares to Isle of Wight


08 July
09 July

14 July
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.

Not open on  Saturdays 10 & 17 June and on Sundays 11 & 18 June.

 

 

 

Southern 24 June
25 June
23 June
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

26 August

27 August
22 September
Up to 23:59 the day before travel. There are no reservations open on weekends between Saturday 2 and Sunday 17 September.

TransPennine Express are not open on their Liverpool to Newcastle route between 8 and 30 July.

There are no Anglo Scottish services available on 8/9 and 15/16 July and no North or South route services available on the 5/6 August.
Virgin Trains 02 September
16 July
20 September

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 the following dates - Saturdays - 27 May and between 26 August and 28 October. Sundays are closed between 25 June and 9 July and between 30  July and 29 October. Weekdays closed - 29 and 30 May and on Friday 25 and Mon / Tues 28 & 29 August and between  Friday 6 October  and Wednesday 18 October.
Virgin Trains East Coast

19 August

20 August

06 October

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.
Virgin Trains East Coast are currently closed on Saturday 26 August to 28 August.

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.