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 28 August 2015:

Train Company Saturday services Sunday services Monday to Friday services Latest time of reservation Notes
Abellio Greater Anglia 14 November

15 November

20 November
Up to 23:59 day before travel.

On Saturday and Sunday, Main Line and Clacton services are not open
Arriva Trains Wales 21 November 22 November 20 November

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 up to 22 November
Caledonian Sleeper These can be booked 12 months in advance.
Chiltern Railways

24 October

18 October 23 October  Further information will be added when available.

CrossCountry

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

21 November 22 November 20 November
Up to 21:00 day before travel but some routes may close earlier.
 

CrossCountry

Between Scotland and South West, Newcastle and Southampton, Manchester and Bournemouth / Bristol

21 November 22 November 20 November 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

14 November
15 November
20 November
Up to 23:59 day before travel.

East Midlands Trains

London route

14 November 8 November 20 November Up to 23:59 day before travel.

First Great Western 14 November 15 November 18 November

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.

 

First TransPennine Express 21 November 15 November 20 November Up to 18:00 day before travel.
Grand Central 21 November 22 November 20 November  Up to 4 hours before departing point of origin

Hull Trains 14 November 15 November 20 November

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

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

 
London Midland 14 November 15 November 20 November  Further information will be added when available.
Northern Rail 21 November 15 November 20 November Advance tickets are available up to 18:00 day before travel.
Northern Rail do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products.
ScotRail 14 November 15 November 20 November

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

7 November
8 November
13 November
Advance tickets are available up to 23:59 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

7 November
8 November
13 November
Advance tickets are available up to 23:59 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

7 November 8 November 13 November Advance tickets are available up to 23:59 day before travel.

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

Southern 14 November 15 November 20 November Advance tickets are available up to 23:59 day before travel. Southern do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products.
Virgin Trains 14 November 15 November 19 November

Trains departing point of origin before 11:00 up to 23:59 day before travel.

Trains departing point of orgin after 11:00 up to 4 hours before departing point of origin.


Virgin Trains East Coast 21 November 22 November 20 November

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

Up to 2 hours before departing point of origin.

 

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.