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  29 April 2016:

Train Company Saturday services Sunday services Monday to Friday services Latest time of reservation Notes
Abellio Greater Anglia 9July

10 July

15 July
Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

Arriva Trains Wales 23 July
24 July
22 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 24 July
Caledonian Sleeper These can be booked 12 months in advance.
Chiltern Railways

23 July

26 July
22 July
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

23 July

24 July 22 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

23 July

24 July
22 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

16 July
17 July
22 July
Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

East Midlands Trains

London route

16 July
17 July
22 July
Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

Grand Central

23 July

24 July 22 July Up to 4 hours before departing origin point.
Great Western Railway 16 July
17 July
22 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.

10 July - London Paddington to Bristol are not open for reservations.

10 / 17 July - London Paddington to Oxford / Hereford / Great Malvern  routes are not open for reservations.

Hull Trains 16 July 17 July
22 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 16 July 17 July
22 July
Further information will be added when available.

Northern

Manchester Airport - Blackpool North

Manchester Airport - Preston / Windermere

Manchester Airport - Barrow-in-Furness

7 May

8 May

 

13 May

 

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.

Northern

All other reservable routes

 

 

 

23 July

 

 

24 July
22 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.
ScotRail 16 July
17 July
22 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

23 July
24 July
22 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.

 

South West Trains

West of England route

23 July
24 July
22 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.

 

South West Trains

Portsmouth route for fares to Isle of Wight

23 July
24 July
22 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

 

Southern 23 July 24 July 22 July
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 23 July
17 July
22 July
Up to 23:59 the day before travel.  
Virgin Trains 16 July 17 July 21 June

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

23 July

24 July
22 July

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.