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 27 March 2015:

Train Company Monday to Friday services Saturday services Sunday services Notes
Abellio Greater Anglia 19 June

13 June

14 June
Arriva Trains Wales 19 June 20 June 21 June Ferry reservations to Ireland are open up to 21 June
Caledonian Sleeper These can be booked 12 months in advance.
Chiltern Railways 5 June  6 June 7 June
CrossCountry

19 June

20 June 21 June

East Midlands Trains

Liverpool - Norwich route

19 June
13 June
14 June

East Midlands Trains

London route

19 June 13 June 14 June excluding 23, 24 May
First Great Western 17 June 13 June 14 June Services on the London Paddington to South Wales route via Bristol Parkway, are currently not open for reservations on Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 May.
First Hull Trains 19 June 13 June 14 June
First TransPennine Express 19 June 20 June 14 June   
Grand Central 19 June 20 June 21 June
London Midland 12 June 6 June 7 June
Northern Rail 19 June 13 June 14 June
ScotRail 19 June 13 June 14 June Sleeper services are open up to 30 March

South West Trains

Waterloo - Weymouth route

19 June 20 June 21 June South West Trains do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products.

South West Trains

West of England route

19 June 20 June 21 June 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

19 June 20 June 21 June South West Trains do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products.
Southern 15 May 9 May 10 May Southern do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products.
Virgin Trains 19 June  13 June 14 June excluding 2,3,4 May
Virgin Trains East Coast 19 June 20 June 21 June  

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.