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Advance tickets

Get great deals on travel nationwide when you book Advance tickets on the Thameslink website

Advance tickets – book ahead and save

Advance tickets are sold in limited numbers, and are available up to 12 weeks before your travel date.

They’re not available for travel on Thameslink, but you can buy Advance tickets online from us for other journeys nationwide. 

If you know advance when you’ll be travelling and can plan to be on a specific service, Advance fares offer very good value.

There are a limited number of Advance fares on each service and they sell out quickly, so book early. The further ahead you book, the more you could save.

The very latest you can book an Advance ticket is 6pm on the night before you travel.

For information on the furthest travel dates available to book tickets for those Train Companies that offer Advance fares can be found here.

Single and return journeys with Advance

Advance tickets are always one-way single tickets, not returns.

If your journey includes a return leg you’ll need to buy two separate Advance tickets. 

You can mix and match fares: for instance, you could get a standard class ticket going one way and a First Class ticket for the return.

Use the journey planner.

When you can use Advance tickets

You can only travel on the date and train shown on the ticket.

You won’t be able to get another train, and the ticket is not refundable or changeable.

Railcard discounts on Advance tickets

You can get 1/3 off a standard class ticket with a Network Railcard.

You can get 1/3 off a First Class ticket if you have a 15-25, Senior, HM Forces or Disabled Persons Railcard.

Learn more

What are Advance tickets?

Advance tickets offer great value but are sold subject to availability and carry restrictions in terms of which dates and trains you must travel on.

Advance tickets aren’t available on Thameslink routes, but you can buy them on our website for journeys elsewhere in the UK.

They usually go on sale six to 12 weeks ahead of travel depending on the season. They can sell out quickly so the further ahead you book and the more flexible you can be, the bigger the savings you can make and the less likely you are to be disappointed.

Standard and First Advance tickets are sold only as single fares, allowing you to purchase the best deal on each stage of your journey, for example by buying a Standard Advance for the outward stage of your journey and a First Advance for the return.

There are some restrictions around Advance tickets:

  • First Advance tickets don't allow access into First Class Lounges
  • You can't buy Advance tickets after 6pm on the night before you travel
  • Advance tickets are not refundable

How do I buy tickets?

You can buy rail tickets with our online ticket booking system, from a ticket vending machine or at a ticket office at your local station. If you buy online you won’t pay a booking fee and delivery is free.

More about buying tickets

Buy a ticket now

Can I reserve a seat on your trains?

No. We don't offer seat reservations on any of our services.

If part of your journey is with another train company who do offer seat reservations, we can arrange them for you (subject to availability) when you buy your ticket at a ticket office or online.

I've seen the National Conditions of Travel mentioned on your website. What are they?

The National Rail Conditions of Travel are the contract between us and you that's created when you buy a ticket.

All about our Conditions of Travel

Read the terms and conditions for Advance tickets.

Got a question about Advance tickets? Contact us.