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Advance Train Tickets

Advance train tickets are often the cheapest option for when you travel by train. They are subject to availability, which means that the cheapest ones on the most popular trains will sell out fast.  Just like flights, the earlier you book, the cheaper the train fares and the greater the value for money. Ticket types and prices are shown on our journey planner, so you can find Advance fares quickly and book your train tickets online.

Why are Advance tickets cheaper?

You can only use them on the train that you’ve booked. This makes them cheaper, as you’re not able to pick a different train.

Usually, they should be available up to 12 weeks in advance. Some operators may release them a little earlier or later. Rail companies need to confirm their timetable before they can release Advance train tickets for sale, too. The latest information on when tickets are available can be found on the National Rail website.

They’re sold with a seat reservation (where they’re offered). This means that when all of the seats on a train have been reserved, Advance train tickets will sell out.

If strike action has been announced, then Advance tickets will be taken off sale. When the timetable has been confirmed, they might be offered once more.

Can I refund Advance train tickets?

In normal circumstances, it isn’t possible to refund Advance train tickets However, you can amend your ticket without any fees (other than the difference in ticket price) with Railsmartr. You can find more information on amending your Advance rail ticket here.

If your train is cancelled and you no longer wish to travel, then you can also refund your ticket. This includes if you’re affected by industrial action and can’t make your trip.

Just know that if you get on a train which is different from the one on your Advance train ticket, you may be required to purchase a new ticket and could even receive a Penalty Fare.

Want to know more? We’ve produced a more detailed guide to Advance tickets here.