LATEST UPDATE: 29TH AUGUST 2020
Train operators are not releasing the cheapest train tickets – Advance train tickets – very far ahead at the moment. Please see the table below for details. Each week further weeks get added so, if cheap Advance train tickets are not yet released for the dates you want, hold on until they are to get the best prices.
UPDATE 14TH AUGUST 2020
Following Department for Transport guidance, all train ticket retailers (including TrainGenius) will end the fee-free refunds / amends dispensation on Sunday 6th September. Tickets purchased on or after Monday 7th September will no longer qualify for fee-free changes (in the case of Advance tickets) or fee-free refunds (in the case of Off-Peak and Anytime tickets), except where there is a delay or cancellation and you decide not to travel. From 7th September cross-operator ticket acceptance will also cease. You can find more info on our Help and support page.
COVID-19 travel information
For the latest COVID-19 travel information, please go to our Help and support page. To obtain a refund of, or change to, your train ticket, please do not call our contact centre. All our refunds are processed directly by our dedicated in-house refunds team. Please visit the Help and support page for more information on what to do.
With TrainGenius.com you can buy cheap train tickets for all UK National Rail destinations and save up to 80% (sometimes more!) by buying in advance through us.
We’re completely impartial and independent of the train operating companies, so you can be sure that we’ll live up to our mission to help you find the train tickets that best suit you – whether that means saving money, travel flexibility or a mixture of the two.
We’ve been selling train tickets online since 2008, so we’re experts at what we do. We help all our customers to find the best value train tickets, to find out when it’s cheapest to travel and to find out handy tips that make train travel easier.
We’re also accredited and licensed by the train operators. We’re not a reseller for another organisation – we do everything from helping you find the right tickets to delivery / ticket collection and after sales support. In fact, our systems are used by some of the train operators themselves to sell their train tickets online.
How far ahead are cheap Advance tickets available?
Last updated Sunday 6th September at 22.00.
Cheap Advance tickets should be available at least 12 weeks ahead, with the only allowed exception being for dates when routes are closed for major upgrades (as opposed to routine maintenance), and it would be silly to be encouraging people to travel. The 12-week commitment is a regulatory requirement and is called “Informed Traveller”. It has been in place for more than 10 years (though train operators and Network Rail – who provide the timetables – frequently fail to meet it).
However, Coronavirus / COVID-19 has caused the rail industry to be unable to agree timetable plans together for anywhere near 12 weeks. Typically weekdays have Advance (i.e. the cheapest) tickets available until at least mid-October, and a few have them available until 20th November. Two only have them available on weekdays until September though.
The situation at weekends is far worse, with some train operators not having agreed timetables for next weekend (5th / 6th September) – so there are no cheap Advance tickets available for weekend getaways.
The details are in the table below. If there are not yet cheap Advance fares available for the date you want, our advice is to wait and keep coming back to this page and checking our booking engine. Cheap Advance tickets are normally released on Fridays, so the best time to check is a Friday in the late morning.
If you book a ticket for travel on a train operator on a date further ahead than the dates below then you will not be able to buy the best value Advance fares. You may also not get a seat reservation, as these trains are closed for reservations. On Avanti West Coast, LNER, CrossCountry, Grand Central, Hull Trains and most GWR services you will need a seat reservation, which can be obtained from the train operator when reservations open.
TrainGenius sells all cheap Advance tickets and we are actively lobbying Government, the Regulator and pressure groups like Transport Focus to get train operators and Network Rail to improve this situation.
|Avanti West Coast||Mondays to Fridays up to and including Friday 13th November. Weekends only up to Sunday 13th September (yes, really).|
|LNER||Mondays to Fridays up to and including Friday 23rd October, except for Friday 16th and Monday 19th October. Weekends only up to Sunday 20th September.|
|CrossCountry||Mondays to Fridays up to and including Friday 16th October. No weekends have Advance fares available.|
|Great Western Railway||Mondays to Fridays up to and including Friday 27th November. Weekends up to and including Saturday 7th / Sunday 8th November.|
|East Midlands Railway||Mondays to Fridays up to and including Friday 27th November. Weekends up to and including Saturday 7th November but only Sunday 18th October.
This is except for EMR’s Liverpool to Norwich service (via Manchester Piccadilly, Sheffield, Nottingham, Peterborough and Ely) which has Monday to Friday Advance fare availability up to and including Friday 27th November, but no Advance fare availability on Saturdays or Sundays at all.
|West Midlands Railway / London Northwestern Railway||Mondays to Fridays up to and including Friday 18th September. At weekends there is no Advance fare availability. Yep, you read that right.|
|TransPennine Express||Mondays to Fridays up to and including Friday 27th November. Weekends up to and including Saturday 28th November and Sunday 29th November.|
|Grand Central||Mondays to Fridays up to and including Friday 27th November. Weekends up to and including Saturday 10th October and Sunday 11th October.|
|Hull Trains||Mondays to Fridays up to and including Friday 16th October. Weekends up to and including Saturday 17th October but only up to and including Sunday 11th October.|
|Chiltern Railways||Mondays to Fridays up to and including Friday 6th November. At weekends there are no Advance fares released at all, so far as we can see.|
|Greater Anglia / Stansted Express||Mondays to Fridays up to and including Friday 20th November. Weekends up to and including Saturday 24th October, but only up to and including Sunday 18th October.|
|Northern||Mondays to Fridays up to and including Friday 6th November. Weekends up to and including Saturday 7th November and Sunday 8th November.|
|ScotRail||Mondays to Fridays up to and including Friday 6th November. Weekends up to and including Saturday 31st October but nothing on Sundays.|
|Southeastern||Mondays to Fridays up to and including Friday 9th October. Nothing on weekends at all.|
|South Western Railway||Mondays to Fridays up to and including Friday 27th November. Weekends up to and including Saturday 31st October and Sunday 25th October only.|
|Southern Railway||Mondays to Fridays up to and including Friday 27th November, but only on a very few routes such as London to Bognor Regis. Nothing at weekends.|
|Transport for Wales||No Advance tickets are available on any Transport for Wales operated services. Wales is closed for rail travel, except for key workers.|