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Seat availability

When travelling long distances, we know that most Grand Central customers prefer to be seated, and indeed we are currently operating a "reservation-only" policy requiring this prior to setting off. Each of our Class 180 Adelante trains contains the following:

  • 226 standard class seats in coaches B, C, D and F
  • 42 First class seats in coach E

How do I reserve a seat on Grand Central?

When you book an Advance ticket, not only are you getting the best value for money on your train fare, you are also guaranteeing yourself a seat on one of our trains. Advance tickets are tied to specific seats on specific trains, meaning we cannot sell more of these than there are seats on the train. These tickets can be purchased in some cases up to two hours before the train departs but more usually up until the day before travel.

If you have purchased a flexible off-peak or anytime ticket, this allows you to get on any Grand Central train within the validity period specified on the ticket. Due to their flexibility, these tickets are more expensive, and also may not come with a guaranteed seat on the train. However, seats on any Grand Central train can be booked either at any manned ticket office or by speaking to our Customer Relations team on 0345 603 4852 (option 3, then option 1; subject to availability) - please note that Grand Central services are currently reservation-only, meaning you will need a reserved seat before boarding.

How can I make sure I get a seat?

The best way to guarantee you get a seat on your journey is to book in Advance. Tickets are usually available for purchase up to 12 weeks before the date of travel, and buying early can also save you up to 87% versus the cost of buying on the day of travel. Be aware that these tickets are limited in number and can sell out, meaning there will be no reservable seats left on the train.

Which trains are less busy?

We regularly publish schedules showing which of our services you are most likely to be able to reserve a seat for. These are put on our social media channels at Twitter and Facebook and provide information on how busy services are over a two-week period. They are regularly updated and are designed to be easy to read and interpret.

Each route is shown as follows:

Seat availability information - how to read

  • Route: Which direction of travel the service is for
  • Date: What day the information is valid for
  • Services from: Which route this information relates to
  • Time: The departure time of each train - this applies to its original station (usually Bradford Interchange, Sunderland or London Kings Cross)
  • Seat availability: A traffic-light system showing how busy a train is expected to be:
    • Green: This service has many seats remaining
    • Yellow: This service has a seats remaining
    • Amber: This service has few seats left
    • Red: This service has no reservable seats left.