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 September


Arriva Trains Wales

 

Saturday service:

20 October

Sunday service:

21 October

Monday to Friday service:

19 October

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 19:00 day before travel for some early morning trains.

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

Notes:

Ferry reservations to Ireland are open to 21 October.

Caledonian Sleeper

 
These can be booked 12 months in advance.

Chiltern Railways

 

Saturday service:

8 December

Sunday service:

2 December

Monday to Friday service:

7 December

Latest time of reservation:

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

Notes

CrossCountry - East to West routes

 

Routes: 

Between Nottingham and Cardiff via Birmingham, Stansted Airport and Birmingham New Street via Leicester

Saturday service:

8 December

Sunday service:

25 November

Monday to Friday service:

7 December

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 21:00 the day before travel but some routes may close earlier.

Notes:

 
 

CrossCountry - North to South routes

 

Routes:

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

Saturday service:

8 December

Sunday service:

25 November 

Monday to Friday service:

7 December

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 15 minutes before customers board the train when booked through CrossCountry's website or app, and at a select number of online retailers / travel agents.

Notes:

East Midlands Trains - Between Liverpool and Norwich

 

Saturday service:

8 December

Sunday service:

2 December

Monday to Friday service:

7 December

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

Notes:

East Midlands Trains - London route

 

Saturday service:

8 December

Sunday service:

4 November

Monday to Friday service:

7 December

Notes: Reservations are not open on Saturday 10 November.

Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

Grand Central

 

Saturday service:

8 December

Sunday service:

2 December

Monday to Friday service:

7 December

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 4 hours before departing origin point.

Great Western Railway

 

Saturday service:

8 December

Sunday service:

2 December

Monday to Friday service:

7 December

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 18:00 the day before. 

Notes:

Reservations are not open for the following dates:

London to South Wales:

London to Cheltenham:

London to West of England: 

Cardiff to Portsmouth / Brighton:

Greater Anglia / Stansted Express

 

Saturday service:

8 December

Sunday service:

18 November

Monday to Friday service:

7 December

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 23:59 the day before travel. 

Notes:

Reservations are not open on the following routes / dates:

Cambridge route: Closed 21 & 28 October (am only), 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24 & 25 November

Norwich route: 

Clacton route: 

Hull Trains

 

Saturday service:

10 November

Sunday service:

11 November

Monday to Friday service:

7 December

Notes:

Latest time of reservation:

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

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

London North Eastern Railway

 

Saturday service:

8 December

Sunday service:

9 December

Monday to Friday service:

14 December

Latest time of reservation:

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

Up to 2 hours before departing point of origin.

Notes:

Reservations / advance tickets are not available on the following dates: Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 November and Saturday 1 and Sunday 2December

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. 

Northern

 

Saturday service:

27 October

Sunday service:

28 October

Monday to Friday service:

7 December

Latest time of reservation:

Advance tickets are available up to 23:59 the day before travel 

Notes:

Northern do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products.

ScotRail

 

Saturday service:

8 December

Sunday service:

2 December

Monday to Friday service:

7 December

Latest time of reservation:

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

Up to 2 hours before departing point of origin.

Reservations / Advanced Purchase tickets are currently not available on the following routes / dates.

Glasgow Queen Street / Edinburgh  - Inverness closed on Saturday 24 and Monday 26 November.

Southeastern

 

Saturday service:

17 November

Sunday service:

18 November

Monday to Friday service:

12 December

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 18:00 the day before.

Notes:

Southeastern do not offer a specific seat allocation but use quota controls for controlling Advance tickets.

Weekend services will only be opened once train times have been confirmed.

Southern

 

Saturday service:

29 September

Sunday service:

30 September

Monday to Friday service:

14 December

Latest time of reservation:

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

Notes:

23 September - no advance tickets on services between London Victoria and Bognor Regis / Portsmouth Harbour.

30 September - no advance tickets bon services between London Victoria and Brighton.

Weekend services will only be opened once train times have been confirmed.

Southern do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products.  

South Western Railway - Between London Waterloo and Weymouth

 

Saturday service:

1 December

Sunday service:

2 December

Monday to Friday service:

7 December

Latest time of reservation:

Advance tickets are available up to 23:59 the day before travel. 

Notes:

South Western Railway do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products.  

South Western Railway - West of England

 

Saturday service:

1 December

Sunday service:

2 December

Monday to Friday service:

7 December

Latest time of reservation:

Advance tickets are available up to 23:59 the day before travel.

Notes:

South Western Railway do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products.  

South Western Railway - Portsmouth route, Isle of Wight

 

Saturday service:

1 December

Sunday service:

2 December

Monday to Friday service:

7 December

Latest time of reservation:

Advance tickets are available up to 23:59 the day before travel. 

Notes:

Reservations are unavailable for Saturday 10 November

South Western Railway do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products. 

TransPennine Express

 

Saturday service:

8 December

Sunday service:

17 November

Monday to Friday service:

7 December

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 23:59 the day before travel. 

Notes:

TransPennine Express are not open on the following dates:

TransPennine Express Mainline routes:

Services between Liverpool/Manchester and Leeds, Hull, York, Scarborough, Middlesbrough and Newcastle

  • Services to/from Newcastle, Scarborough and Middlesbrough are closed Sunday 14 October.
  • Services to/from Hull are closed  Sundays 14 October and 2 December.
  • Services between Manchester and Leeds are closed on Saturday 24 November and 1 December, Sundays 14, 28 October; 25 November and 2 December.
Services between Manchester, Sheffield, Doncaster and Cleethorpes
  • Services are closed on Saturday 1 December and Sundays 28 October, 4, 25 November and the 2 December.

Virgin Trains

 

Saturday service:

8 December

Sunday service:

2 December

Monday to Friday service:

6 December

Latest time of reservation:

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.

Notes:

Closed Holyhead route on the 25 November

West Midlands Trains

 

Saturday service:

8 December

Sunday service:

2 December

Monday to Friday service:

7 December

Latest time of reservation:

Information will be added when available.

Notes:

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.