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 22 February.


Caledonian Sleeper

 
These can be booked 12 months in advance.

Chiltern Railways

 

Saturday service:

18 May

Sunday service:

5 May

Monday to Friday service:

17 May

Latest time of reservation:

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

Notes:

Advance tickets on Birmingham - London routes are not available on 5 May, and no Chiltern Railways tickets are available on 12 May.

CrossCountry - East to West routes

 

Routes: 

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

Saturday service:

18 May

Sunday service:

19 May

Monday to Friday service:

17 May

Latest time of reservation:

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

Notes:

Birmingham to Cardiff is closed on 21 April and 11 / 18 May

Birmingham to Nottingham is closed 12 / 19 May

Birmingham to Stansted is closed 14 April and 12 May

CrossCountry - North to South routes

 

Routes:

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

Saturday service:

17 May

Sunday service:

18 May

Monday to Friday service:

19 May

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 - Manchester is closed on 4 / 5 / 6 May

Reading - Southampton / Bournemouth is closed on 14 / 27 / 28 April and 11 / 12 May.

Birmingham - South West closed 11 / 12 / 18 / 19 May

Birmingham - Scotland 21 / 28 April and 5 May

East Midlands Trains - Between Liverpool and Norwich

 

Saturday service:

4 May

Sunday service:

5 May

Monday to Friday service:

10 May

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

Notes:

East Midlands Trains - London route

 

Saturday service:

27 April

Sunday service:

24 March

Monday to Friday service:

10 May

Notes: Reservations are not open on the 19 / 22 April and 6 May.

Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

Grand Central

 

Saturday service:

20 April

Sunday service:

21 April

Monday to Friday service:

10 May

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 4 hours before departing origin point.

Great Western Railway

 

Saturday service:

4 May

Sunday service:

5 May

Monday to Friday service:

17 May

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 18:00 the day before. 

Notes:

Reservations are not open for the following dates:

Cardiff to Portsmouth / Brighton / Weymouth: Closed on 13 / 14 / 19 April

Cardiff to Taunton: Closed on 27 April and 4 / 5 May

London Paddington to Cardiff: Closed on 27 / 28 April

Greater Anglia / Stansted Express

 

Saturday service:

4 May

Sunday service:

5 May

Monday to Friday service:

9 May

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 23:59 the day before travel. 

Notes:

Reservations are not open on the following routes / dates:

Cambridge route: 3 / 9 / 10 / 17 / 23 / 24 / 30 / 31 March  and 7 April

Norwich route:  13 / 14 / 21 April

Clacton route: 23 / 24 / 30 / 31 March

Hull Trains

 

Saturday service:

11 May

Sunday service:

12 May

Monday to Friday service:

17 May

Notes:

Advance bookings are not currently available for some trains on Sunday 28 April.

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:

11 May

Sunday service:

12 May

Monday to Friday service:

17 May

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.

Northern

 

Saturday service:

13 April

Sunday service:

14 April

Monday to Friday service:

16 May

Latest time of reservation:

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

Notes:

All services are currently closed on 19 / 22 April and 6 May.

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

ScotRail

 

Saturday service:

18 May

Sunday service:

12 May

Monday to Friday service:

17 May

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

From 20 to 22 April and 27 / 28 April and from 4 to 18 May reservation are not open for services between Glasgow / Edinburgh and Aberdeen / Inverness and between Aberdeen and Inverness.

Southeastern

 

Saturday service:

20 April

Sunday service:

21 April

Monday to Friday service:

16 May

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.

Monday 6 May is currently closed for bookings.

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

Southern

 

Saturday service:

6 April

Sunday service:

5 May

Monday to Friday service:

17 May

Latest time of reservation:

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

Notes:

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

Advance tickets are currently not available for the  9 / 10 / 16 / 17 March and also 14 / 21 / 28 April

South Western Railway - Between London Waterloo and Weymouth

 

Saturday service:

11 May

Sunday service:

12 May

Monday to Friday service:

17 May

Latest time of reservation:

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

Notes:

Advance bookings are entirely closed on 31 March, 27 / 28 April, and on 4 / 5 / 6 / 11 / 12 May.

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

South Western Railway - West of England

 

Saturday service:

11 May

Sunday service:

12 May

Monday to Friday service:

17 May

Latest time of reservation:

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

Notes:

Advance bookings are entirely closed 31 March, 27 / 28 April, and also 4 / 5 / 6 May

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:

11 May

Sunday service:

12 May

Monday to Friday service:

17 May

Latest time of reservation:

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

Notes:

Advance bookings are entirely closed on 31 March, 27 / 28 April and 4 / 5 / 6 May.

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

TransPennine Express

 

Saturday service:

17 August

Sunday service:

18 August

Monday to Friday service:

16 August

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 23:59 the day before travel. 

Notes:

TransPennine Express are not open on the following dates:

Services to/from Middlesbrough, Scarborough and Newcastle:

Reservations are closed for 20 / 21 April, 2 / 22 / 23 June or from 22 July to 5 August.

Services to / from Hull:

Reservations are closed for Sunday 2 June.

Services between Manchester Piccadilly and Leeds:

Reservations are closed for Sunday 2 June.

Services between Manchester Airport – Manchester – Preston – Carlisle – Glasgow / Edinburgh:

Reservations are closed for 20 – 22 April, 27 / 28 April and 6 / 11/ 12 / 18 May

Services between Manchester Airport – Manchester – Sheffield – Doncaster – Cleethorpes:

Reservations are closed for 12 / 19 May.

Transport for Wales

 

Saturday service:

18 May

Sunday service:

19 May

Monday to Friday service:

17 May

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 19 May

Virgin Trains

 

Saturday service:

11 May

Sunday service:

12 May

Monday to Friday service:

16 May

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:

Reservation are not open from 20 to 22 April and 3 /4 / 5 / 6 / 7 May. 

West Midlands Trains

 

Saturday service:

11 May

Sunday service:

12 May

Monday to Friday service:

17 May

Latest time of reservation:

Information will be added when available.

Notes:

Reservations are not open from 19 to 22 April and between 4 and 6 May

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.