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 23 January 2015:

Train Company Monday to Friday services Saturday services Sunday services Notes
Abellio Greater Anglia 10 April 4 April 5 April Reservations are not open between London Liverpool Street and Norwich / Clacton on Saturdays or Sundays from Saturday 7 / Sunday 8 March
Arriva Trains Wales 17 April 18 April 19 April Ferry reservations to Ireland are open up to 19 April (except Swift sailings which are closed until 29 January).
Caledonian Sleeper These can be booked 12 months in advance
Chiltern Railways 17 April 18 April 19 April
CrossCountry 17 April 18 April 19 April
East Coast 17 April 11 April 12 April

East Midlands Trains

Liverpool - Norwich route

17 April 11 April 12 April

East Midlands Trains

London route

17 April 11 April 12 April
First Great Western 15 April 11 April 12 April
First Hull Trains 17 April 11 April 12 April
First TransPennine Express 17 April 18 April 12 April
Grand Central 17 April 18 April 19 April
London Midland 17 April 11 April 12 April
Northern Rail 17 April 11 April 12 April
ScotRail 27 March 21 March 22 March Sleeper services are open up to 30 March

South West Trains

Waterloo - Weymouth route

10 April 4 April 5 April South West Trains do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products.

South West Trains

West of England route

10 April 4 April 5 April 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

10 April 4 April 5 April South West Trains do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products.
Southern 10 April 11 April 12 April Southern do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products.
Virgin Trains 16 April 11 April 12 April

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.