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 20 July


Arriva Trains Wales

 

Saturday service:

22 September

Sunday service:

23 September

Monday to Friday service:

21 September

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 30 September.

Caledonian Sleeper

 
These can be booked 12 months in advance.

Chiltern Railways

 

Saturday service:

13 October

Sunday service:

14 October

Monday to Friday service:

12 October

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:

13 October

Sunday service:

14 October

Monday to Friday service:

12 October

Latest time of reservation:

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

Notes:

Closed on Sunday 16 / 23 / 30 September and 7 October on the services to / from Stansted Airport.

CrossCountry - North to South routes

 

Routes:

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

Saturday service:

6 October

Sunday service:

7 October

Monday to Friday service:

5 October

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:

Birmingham to Southampton / Bournemouth

Birmingham to Bristol / South West are open except from Saturday 15 to Friday 5 Octoberber

Birmingham to Newcastle / Scotland are open except for 15 September.

East Midlands Trains - Between Liverpool and Norwich

 

Saturday service:

6 October

Sunday service:

7 October

Monday to Friday service:

12 October

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

Notes:

Please note that engineering work is taking place at Liverpool Lime Street from 2 June to 3 August, closing the station. Please travel to / from Liverpool South Parkway for direct journeys on the Liverpool - Norwich route.

East Midlands Trains - London route

 

Saturday service:
6 October

Sunday service:
7 October

Monday to Friday service:

12 October

Notes: Reservations are not open on Sunday 2 and 23 September

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

Grand Central

 

Saturday service:

13 October

Sunday service:

14 October

Monday to Friday service:

12 October

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 4 hours before departing origin point.

Great Western Railway

 

Saturday service:

29 September

Sunday service:

30 September

Monday to Friday service:

5 October

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 18:00 the day before. 

Notes:

Reservations are not open for the following dates:

London to South Wales: Monday 10 to Friday 5 October. .

London to Cotswolds: 

Cardiff to Portsmouth Sunday 9  to Friday 5 October.

Greater Anglia / Stansted Express

 

Saturday service:

1 September

Sunday service:

2 September

Monday to Friday service:

12 October

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- 22; 28-29 July, 11-12 August, 8-9 September.

Norwich / Clacton route: Closed 8-9; 15-16; 22-23, 30 September and 7 October..

Hull Trains

 

Saturday service:

13 October

Sunday service:

7 October

Monday to Friday service:

12 October

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.

Northern

 

Saturday service:

11 August

Sunday service:

12 August

Monday to Friday service:

10 October

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. 

Saturday / Sunday / mid-week reservations are limited on the following routes:

Leeds - Southport route.

Manchester Airport - Preston via Bolton.

All routes to / from Liverpool Lime Street.

All routes to / from Barrow-in-Furness.

ScotRail

 

Saturday service:

6 October

Sunday service:

7 October

Monday to Friday service:

12 October

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.

Aberdeen - Inverness closed Saturday 25 August and 1 September & Sunday 26 August and 2 September.

Glasgow Queen Street - Aberdeen closed on the following Sundays 2,9,16,23,30 September and 7 October.

Glasgow Queen Street - Inverness / Elgin closed on the following Sundays 2,9,16,23,30 September and 7 October.

Glasgow Queen Street - Fort William closed Saturday 29, Sunday 30 September and Monday 1 October.

Glasgow Queen Street - Oban closed Saturday 6 to Wednesday 10 October.

Southeastern

 

Saturday service:

8 September

Sunday service:

2 September

Monday to Friday service:

17 October

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 18:00 the day before.

Notes:

Southeastern are closed on all routes departing London Charing Cross on Saturday 8 September.

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:

4 August

Sunday service:

5 August

Monday to Friday service:

12 October

Latest time of reservation:

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

Notes:

Closed Sunday 5 August London Victoria to Bognor Regis / Portsmouth Harbour.

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:

15 September

Sunday service:

9 September

Monday to Friday service:

12 October

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:

8 September

Sunday service:

9 September

Monday to Friday service:

12 October

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:

8 September

Sunday service:

9 September

Monday to Friday service:

12 October

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. 

TransPennine Express

 

Saturday service:

24 November

Sunday service:

17 November

Monday to Friday service:

23 November

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 23:59 the day before travel. 

Notes:

TransPennine Express are not open on the following dates:

Manchester Airport - Glasgow / Edinburgh: currently not available on 26 August, or after 2 September for weekend services.

Liverpool Lime Street - Scarborough / Newcastle: 25 June - 27 July.

Manchester Airport - Middlesbrough / Newcastle: not available after 26 October for midweek services, or after 26 August for weekend services.

Manchester Airport - Cleethorpes: 2, 9 September, 7, 13 - 14, 20 - 21 and 27 - 28 October, or 3 - 4 November.

Virgin Trains

 

Saturday service:

6 October

Sunday service:

7 October

Monday to Friday service:

11 October

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:

Reservations are currently closed for Saturday 25 August to Monday 27 August and 1, 2, 16 & 23 September.

London North Eastern Railway

 

Saturday service:

15 September

Sunday service:

7 October

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.

Notes:

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. 

Closed all routes: Saturdays 22, 29 September and 6 October.

West Midlands Trains

 

Saturday service:

6 October

Sunday service:

7 October

Monday to Friday service:

5 October

Latest time of reservation:

Information will be added when available.

Notes:

On Saturday 18 August reservations are not open on services to / from Liverpool Lime Street.

Closed all routes  Saturday 25 to Monday 27 August, Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 September.

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.