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.

Customers please note, there will be no train service across the network on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Advance ticket & reservation information last updated 12 January:

Train Company

Saturday services

Sunday services

Monday to Friday services

Latest time of reservation

Notes

Arriva Trains Wales

7 April

8 April

6 April

Up to 19:00 day before travel for some early morning trains.

Other services up to 4 hours before departure point of origin 

 

Ferry reservations to Ireland are open to 8 April

 

 

Caledonian Sleeper

These can be booked 12 months in advance.

Chiltern Railways

7 April

8 April

6 April

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

 

CrossCountry

Between Nottingham and Cardiff via Birmingham, Birmingham and Stansted Airport via Leicester, Peterborough and Cambridge

7 April

8 April

6 April

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

 

CrossCountry

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

7 April

8 April

6 April

Up to 10 minutes before customers board the train when booked through all CrossCountry channels and at a select number of online retailers / travel agents

 

East Midlands Trains

 

Liverpool - Norwich route

31 March

1 April

6 April

Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

East Midlands Trains

London route

31 March

1 April

6 April

Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

Reservations are closed on 25 March.

Grand Central

31 March

1 April

6 April

Up to 4 hours before departing origin point.

Great Western Railway

17 February

18 February

6 April

Up to 18:00 the day before.

 

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Reservations are closed for 2 and 3 April.

Greater Anglia

31 March

1 April

6 April

 

Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

Greater Anglia reservations are closed for journeys to and from Clacton-on-Sea 3/4, 10/11; 17/18 and 24/25 March and between 30 March and 2 April.

/Norwich 10/11;  17/18  and 24/25 March and between 30 March and 2 April.

Cambridge route on the following weekends:   every weekend from February  until 2 April.

 

Hull Trains

24 March

25 March

6 April

Up to 15:00 day before travel for early morning services.

Other services up to 4 hours before departing point of origin.

Reservations are closed for Monday 2 April.

Northern

 

7 April

8 April

11 April

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

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


ScotRail

31 March

 

1 April

6 April

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

Up to 2 hours before departing point of origin.

Reservations not open on some services between Inverness and Aberdeen from 31 March to 2 April

South Western Railway

Waterloo - Weymouth

31 March

1 April

30 March

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

South Western Railway do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products. Reservations are not open on the 21 or 28 January, the 3/4, 10/11, 24/25 March

 

 

 

 

South Western Railway

West of England

31 March

1 April

30 March

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

South Western Railway do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products. Reservations are not open on the 21 or 28 January, the 3/4, 10/11, 24/25 March

 

 

 

South Western Railway

Portsmouth route

for fares to Isle of Wight

31 March

1 April

30 March

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

South Western Railway do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products. Reservations are not open on the 21 or 28 January, the 3/4, 10/11, 24/25 March

 

 

 

 

Southern

10 March

11 March

6 April

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

Southern do not offer seat reservations but have quota controlled advance purchase products. Southern are currently closed on: 27 and 28 January, 18 and 25 February, 4, 11, 17, 18 and 24 March

TransPennine Express

31 March

1 April

6 April

Up to 23:59 the day before travel.

Virgin Trains

24 March

25 March

28 March

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.

Virgin Trains are currently closed on Thursday 29 and Friday 30 March, also on Monday 2 April.

Virgin Trains East Coast

7 April

8 April

29 June

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.

West Midlands Trains

24 March

25 March

6 April

Information will be added when available

 

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.