Advance Tickets and 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 for each available service, and so are 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 8 October 2021

Temporary Timetable Change

Normally, the timetable for any particular day is confirmed 12 weeks in advance. For a temporary period Network Rail isn’t able to do this, instead confirming timetables 3 to 4 weeks in advance. Please check here for further information.

Avanti West Coast

 

Saturday service:

18 December

Sunday service:

19 December

Monday to Friday service:

31 December

Latest time of reservation:

Customers can make a seat reservation up to 10 minutes before departure from a station on all services (subject to availability).

Notes:

Reservations are closed Saturday 27 and Sundays 21 / 28 November and 5 / 27 December.

Caledonian Sleeper

 

These can be booked 12 months in advance.

Chiltern Railways - between Birmingham and London Marylebone

 

Saturday service:

18 December

Sunday service:

19 December

Monday to Friday service:

23 December

Latest time of reservation:

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

Notes:

Closed on 23 October, 12 November and 5 December.

Chiltern Railways - between Oxford and London Marylebone

 

Saturday service:

18 December

Sunday service:

19 December

Monday to Friday service:

23 December

Latest time of reservation:

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

Notes:

Closed on 23 October, 12 November and 5 December.

CrossCountry - East to West routes

 

Routes: 

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

Saturday service:

27 November

Sunday service:

28 November

Monday to Friday service:

10 December

Latest time of reservation:

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

Notes:​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

50% of services will be closed Monday - Friday will be closed from 29 October, Saturday 30 October and Sunday 31 October on the Birmingham - Stansted / Nottingham routes.

CrossCountry - North to South routes

 

Routes:

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

Saturday service:

18 December

Sunday service:

19 December

Monday to Friday service:

24 December

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​​​​​​​:

The Birmingham - Bristol / South West and Birmingham to Newcastle / Scotland routes are only open on weekdays until 10 December, and on weekends until 5 December.

East Midlands Railway - Between Liverpool and Norwich

 

Saturday service:

13 November

Sunday service:

14 November

Monday to Friday service:

23 December

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

Notes:

Train times will be amended at short notice as a result of the current Covid-19 pandemic, please check train times before travelling.

East Midlands Railway - London route

 

Saturday service:

13 November

Sunday service:

14 November

Monday to Friday service:

23 December

Notes:

Train times will be amended at short notice as a result of the current Covid-19 pandemic, please check train times before travelling.

Reservations can be made up to 23:59 the day before travel.

Grand Central

 

Saturday service:

18 December

Sunday service:

2 January

Monday to Friday service:

21 January

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 4 hours before departing origin point.

Great Western Railway

 

Saturday service:

1 January

Sunday service:

2 January

Monday to Friday service:

7 January

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 2 minutes before travel at any station on Great Western Railway routes.

Notes:​​​​​​​

Services on the London – Bath - Bristol Temple Meads (towards Bristol only) route are currently restricted on Sundays 28 November and 5 December.

Services on the Cardiff / Bristol – Portsmouth / Brighton route are currently restricted on Sunday 5 December.

Services on the London – Exeter / Plymouth / Penzance West of England route are currently restricted on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 December.

Services on the Reading – Redhill / Gatwick route are currently restricted on Sunday 12 December.

Services on the London – Bristol Parkway – Cardiff - Swansea route are currently restricted from Monday 27 until Friday 31 December inclusive.

Services on the Cardiff / Bristol – Taunton route are currently restricted from Monday 27 until Friday 31 December inclusive.

Services on the London – Cheltenham (South Cots) route are currently restricted from Monday 27 until Wednesday 29 December inclusive.
 

Greater Anglia / Stansted Express

 

Saturday service:

4 December

Sunday service:

5 December

Monday to Friday service:

10 December

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 23:59 the day before travel. 

Notes:

 

Hull Trains

 

Saturday service:

1 January

Sunday service:

2 January

Monday to Friday service:

11 February

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.

LNER

 

Saturday service:

25 December

Sunday service:

26 December

Monday to Friday service:

31 December

Notes:

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 23:59 day before travel for some early morning trains.

Up to 40 minutes 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.

Tickets will be available on the following dates only on the LNER website and app:

  • Weekdays until 25 March.
  • 29 / 30 January.
  • 5 / 6 / 12 / 13 February.

 

Northern

 

Saturday service:

20 November

Sunday service:

21 November

Monday to Friday service:

26 November

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.

Due to alterations made because of Covid19, some routes are not currently available to book.

ScotRail

 

Saturday service:

11 December

Sunday service:

5 December

Monday to Friday service:

10 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:

On the following dates, these routes will not be open for reservations, as a result of industrial action:

Industrial Action

10 / 17 / 24 / 31 October 2021

Glasgow – Fort William / Mallaig

Glasgow – Oban

Glasgow / Edinburgh – Aberdeen

Glasgow / Edinburgh – Perth / Dundee / Arbroath

Glasgow / Edinburgh – Inverness

Inverness – Aberdeen

Engineering Work

3 / 10 / 17 / 24 October

Glasgow – Fort William / Mallaig

Glasgow – Oban

30 / 31 October

Inverness – Wick / Kyle

14 / 20 / 21 / 27 / 28 / 29 November

Glasgow / Edinburgh – Aberdeen

Glasgow / Edinburgh– Inverness

Inverness – Aberdeen

Southeastern

 

Saturday service:

20 November

Sunday service:

21 November

Monday to Friday service:

17 December

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 18:00 the day before.

Notes:

Weekday tickets are only bookable maximum 84 days ahead of travel.

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:

1 January

Sunday service:

2 January

Monday to Friday service:

7 January

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.

Reservations for 4 / 5 / 11 / 12 / 18 / 19  December are currently closed.

For Saturdays and Sundays, advance fares for Southern services will be released approximately seven days after the amended timetable has been uploaded to journey planners. Details of when the amended timetables will be uploaded are available here.

South Western Railway - Between London Waterloo and Weymouth

 

Saturday service:

11 December

Sunday service:

5 December

Monday to Friday service:

16 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 closed on 13 / 14 / 28 November and 4 / 12 December.

South Western Railway - West of England

 

Saturday service:

11 December

Sunday service:

5 December

Monday to Friday service:

24 December

Latest time of reservation:

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

Notes:

Reservations are closed on all West of England services on 28 November.

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:

4 December

Sunday service:

21 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.

TransPennine Express

 

Saturday service:

26 March

Sunday service:

27 March

Monday to Friday service:

25 March

Latest time of reservation:

Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

Notes:

North Route: currently closed: 27 / 28 November; 27 / 28 December; 1 - 3 / 15 - 16 / 29 - 30 January; 5 / 6 / 12 / 13 / 19 / 20 / 26 / 27 February; 5 / 6 / 12 / 13 / 19 / 20 / 26 / 27 March.

Anglo Scottish Route: currently closed 27 - 31 December; 1 - 2 January; 5 / 6 / 12 / 13 / 19 / 20 / 26 / 27 February; 5 - 6 March.

South Route: 14 / 27-28 November. 8 / 9 / 16 / 23 January.

Transport for Wales

 

Transport for Wales advance tickets are available 6 weeks in advance of travel.

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:

A limited number of sailings are available up to 6 weeks in advance of travel.

West Midlands Trains

 

Saturday service:

30 October

Sunday service:

31 October

Monday to Friday service:

23 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.

 

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Last updated:   08 October 2021