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 18 October


Caledonian Sleeper

 

These can be booked 12 months in advance.

Chiltern Railways

 

Saturday service:

14 December

Sunday service:

8 December

Monday to Friday service:

13 December

Latest time of reservation:

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

Notes:

Advance tickets are not available on the following dates / routes:

CrossCountry - East to West routes

 

Routes: 

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

Saturday service:

11 January

Sunday service:

12 January

Monday to Friday service:

10 January

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:

11 January

Sunday service:

12 January

Monday to Friday service:

10 January

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 Railway - Between Liverpool and Norwich

 

Saturday service:

4 January

Sunday service:

5 January

Monday to Friday service:

10 January

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

Notes:

Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

East Midlands Railway do not run any services on Christmas Day or Boxing Day (25 / 26 December).

East Midlands Railway - London route

 

Saturday service:

21 December

Sunday service:

22 December

Monday to Friday service:

10 January

Notes:

Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

East Midlands Railway do not run any services on Christmas Day or Boxing Day (25 / 26 December).

Reservations are not open on 30 December or 3 January.

Grand Central

 

Saturday service:

28 December

Sunday service:

29 December

Monday to Friday service:

10 January

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 4 hours before departing origin point.

Notes:

Great Western Railway

 

Saturday service:

4 January

Sunday service:

5 January

Monday to Friday service:

10 January

Latest time of reservation:

Up until 18:00 the day before travel. 

Notes:

Greater Anglia / Stansted Express

 

Saturday service:

4 January

Sunday service:

5 January

Monday to Friday service:

10 January

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 23:59 the day before travel. 

Notes:

Reservations are not open on the following routes / dates:

Cambridge route: 26 October and 9 / 10 November & 27 - 29 December.

Clacton route: 27 December to 1 January.

Norwich route: 27 December to 1 January.

Hull Trains

 

Saturday service:

3 January

Sunday service:

4 January

Monday to Friday service:

10 January

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.

Hull Trains will run no services on Christmas Day or Boxing Day (25 / 26 December).

London North Eastern Railway

 

Saturday service:

16 November

Sunday service:

17 November

Monday to Friday service:

13 December.

Notes:

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.

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:

14 December

Sunday service:

15 December

Monday to Friday service:

15 January

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:

21 December *

Sunday service:

22 December *

Monday to Friday service:

23 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:

Services between Glasgow / Edinburgh and Aberdeen / Inverness and between Aberdeen and Inverness are open up to Friday 13 December.

Due to engineering works in the Perth area, the following routes are closed on 7 / 8 & 14 December - between Glasgow / Edinburgh and Aberdeen / Inverness / Perth / Dundee / Arbroath and between Aberdeen and Inverness.

Due to engineering works on the 15 December in the Dunblane, the following routes are closed - between Glasgow and Perth / Dundee and between Edinburgh and Perth / Dundee / Arbroath.

* Please note Advance tickets / Reservations are ONLY open between Glasgow and Mallaig / Oban; Glasgow and Stranraer, between Inverness and Wick / Kyle and between Glasgow / Edinburgh and Perth / Dundee / Arbroath.

Southeastern

 

Saturday service:

11 January

Sunday service:

12 January

Monday to Friday service:

15 January

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 18:00 the day before.

Notes:

Reservations are closed on 23 / 24 December and 1 January.

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:

7 December

Sunday service:

8 December

Monday to Friday service:

13 December

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.

South Western Railway - Between London Waterloo and Weymouth

 

Saturday service:

14 December

Sunday service:

24 November

Monday to Friday service:

24 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.

Reservations to / from Weymouth are closed on Sunday 1 and Sunday 8 December.

South Western Railway - West of England

 

Saturday service:

14 December

Sunday service:

8 December

Monday to Friday service:

24 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:

14 December

Sunday service:

8 December

Monday to Friday service:

24 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.

Reservations are currently closed on Sunday 1 December.

TransPennine Express

 

Saturday service:

14 December

Sunday service:

15 December

Monday to Friday service:

20 December

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 23:59 the day before travel. 

Notes:

Transport for Wales

 

Saturday service:

14 December

Sunday service:

8 December

Monday to Friday service:

13 December

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 12 January

Virgin Trains

 

Saturday service:

4 January

Sunday service:

5 January

Monday to Friday service:

2 April

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:

Please note that no Virgin Trains services run on Christmas Day or Boxing Day (25 / 26 December).

Reservations are closed from 27 December until 5 January (inclusive).

West Midlands Trains

 

Saturday service:

14 December

Sunday service:

1 December

Monday to Friday service:

13 December

Latest time of reservation:

Information will be added when available.

Notes:

Reservations are not open on Sundays 10 November and 8 December.

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.