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2019 Ticket Availability
Tickets for some journeys may not be available at 12 weeks due to lack of timetable confirmation, mainly on weekends around planned engineering works. This is a result of the timetable changes since May 2018 and affects all UK train companies.
- What's happening?
- What does this mean?
- What should I do?
- How can I check whether my service has been changed?
- When can I buy my ticket?
- My train has been changed - what can I do?
- I bought a flexible ticket but now there are cheaper Advance tickets available on my preferred service. Why is this and what can I do?
- Ticket types explained
- Why is this happening?
A small number of services will be re-timed or will not run as shown when they first become available 12 weeks before travel.
Our helpful calendar has details of which services and dates are subject to change.
This issue is expected to affect a small number of trains, mainly on weekends and therefore will impact a very small percentage of rail passengers.
Most services will open for sale and seat reservations as planned. For these services our full range of tickets and seat reservations will be available 12 weeks prior to the date of travel.
In some cases, where we know that there are likely to be changes to specific services, due to scheduled engineering works, tickets will be on sale 12 weeks before the date of travel based on the existing timetable. However, these services will only have flexible tickets available – there will be no Advance tickets or seat reservations made available until the service timings are confirmed by Network Rail.
Once the train times have been confirmed, we will open services for Advance tickets and seat reservations.
For more information on the types of tickets available, please see the relevant section further down this page: "Ticket types explained"
Where services are planned to run as scheduled, customers should book their travel as usual and to check the timetable 6 weeks before travel for up-to-date information.
However, if your service is noted as subject to change, we recommend that you wait until the timetable has been confirmed and book your tickets and seat reservations at that time.
Check our calendar which has details of when the timetable for your service will be confirmed and Advance tickets sales and seat reservations will be open.
We recommend that you use this calendar to help plan your travel and to inform you when you should check to confirm your train times.
You can buy a flexible ticket for travel on any of our services 12 weeks prior to the date of travel.
Advance tickets and seat reservations will be made available only where we are confident that there will be no changes to the planned service, or once the timetable has been confirmed by Network Rail. In practice this means Advance and seat reservations will be available on the majority of service 12 weeks prior to the date of travel. However, on some days Advance and seat reservations will not be available on some services until 6 weeks prior to travel.
Please see our calendar for details of when services will be open for sale, when seat reservations will be available and when the timetable will be confirmed.
If your train is cancelled or delayed, or you no longer wish to travel, you should return your ticket to the place of purchase for a full refund. This offer applies to all tickets and includes Advance fares, which are normally non-refundable. Please note that this may not be Grand Central.
I bought a flexible ticket but now there are cheaper Advance tickets available on my preferred service. Why is this and what can I do?
Advance Purchase tickets usually go on sale at the same time as flexible tickets, 12 weeks prior to travel. However, as we are unable to guarantee the times of some services, we are not making Advance tickets available on those services until the timetable has been confirmed. This may be after the flexible tickets have been on sale.
If you have bought a flexible ticket and want to take advantage of a cheaper Advance ticket, you can buy the cheaper Advance ticket once this is available and apply for a full refund of your flexible ticket at no cost to you. Please return your ticket to the place of purchase for a full refund.
Flexible tickets including Anytime and Off-peak tickets are not restricted to a specific service. They may have restrictions e.g. Off-Peak travel only, or GC services only, but are transferable between valid services. As these tickets are valid on a range of services they are not directly affected by any timetable changes.
Advance tickets are usually cheaper than flexible tickets, but are only valid for travel on one specific service on a particular date. These tickets come with a mandatory seat reservation. As they are sold for a specific service, we are unable to sell these where we know there is a reasonable chance that the service may not operate as planned.
Advance tickets are non-refundable, but may be changed to another service by payment of an admin fee, plus any change in available ticket price.
However, if your service is cancelled or amended, you can apply for a full refund at no cost to you. Please see the section above: ‘My train has been cancelled – what can I do?’
A new national railway timetable came into operation on Sunday 20 May 2018. The core timetable changes twice a year, in May and December, and is overseen by Network Rail.
The May 2018 timetable change is the most complex in living memory, requiring the re-scheduling of over 4 million services – almost 600% more than usual – and is the result of billions of pounds of investment in the rail network, new trains and services.
Network Rail is making temporary changes so that timetables will be published later than normal for services from 20 May onwards. Timetables for all services will still be available to customers through all the usual channels 12 weeks before departure, but these will not be confirmed as final until at least 6 weeks before departure. The vast majority of changes will affect weekends, with few mid-week changes.
Please note that the impacts of this will be felt UK-wide and will affect all train operators. This is not a specific Grand Central issue.