Advance Ticket Terms and Conditions

Advance tickets are single (one-way) tickets for selected journeys available in First Class and Standard Class, offering the best available price for each journey.

Your Advance ticket offers great value - but there are important rules you should follow so you don’t incur extra cost on your journey. The one really important thing is that, when you bought your Advance ticket, you nominated a train and in certain cases were given a reserved seat on that train.


Tickets must be purchased in advance of travel, subject to availability. Tickets are generally available for purchase up to 8-12 weeks before departure. Book as far in advance as possible to get the cheapest fares. Advance tickets for Greater Anglia services can be purchased up to 23:59 on the day before departure.

  • Standard Class: Child discounts, 16-25, Family & Friends, Senior, Two Together, Disabled Persons, Veterans and HM Forces Railcard discounts apply.
  • First Class: Child discounts, 16-25, Senior, Two Together, Disabled Persons, Veterans and HM Forces Railcard discounts apply.

Please note that these discounts do not usually apply to any special offers on Advance tickets (e.g. "seat sales") unless otherwise stated.

When and where the ticket can be used

  • Tickets are valid ONLY on the date and train service(s) shown on the ticket(s).*
  • You must travel in the Class and, where applicable, reserved seat(s) shown on the ticket(s).
  • Tickets may only be used on the services of the Train Company (or geographic route where applicable) shown next to ‘Route’ on the ticket.
  • If the ‘Route’ also states ‘and Connections’, travel is allowed on appropriate connecting trains where shown on the ticket(s) or other valid travel itinerary.
  • If the route is prefixed with a '+' symbol, the ticket includes the cost of travelling across London on London Underground, Docklands Light Railway or Thameslink services as appropriate to the journey.

* Your ticket is only valid for travel on that nominated service and cannot be used on any other train. If you travel on any other train then you will be treated as if you have no ticket and will be required to buy a full price ticket for your journey (this will be the full Anytime, Off-Peak or Super Off-Peak single fare appropriate to the train that you are travelling on and not the difference between this and your Advance ticket). The only exceptions to this condition are if you are delayed when travelling as set out below.

Conditions of use

  • You must be at the departure station shown on your ticket in good time to catch the train. If you miss the first train on which you are booked for any reason, a new ticket must be purchased.
  • If delays occur while travelling, you will be allowed to take the next available train(s) to complete your journey.
  • Railcard holders travelling on a discounted ticket must carry their Railcard when they travel. If a Railcard holder fails to produce a valid Railcard with their ticket, a new ticket must be purchased as if no Railcard and/or no ticket were held.
  • First Class Advance tickets do not always grant access to First Class Lounges at stations. Greater Anglia allow First Class Advance ticket holders access to the First Class Lounge at Ipswich free of charge. Avanti West Coast and Great Western Railway also allow free of charge access to their First Class Lounges. East Midlands Railway allow access free of charge except at London St Pancras between 16:00 and 20:00 Mon-Fri when a £5 lounge supplement must be purchased. East Coast charge First Advance ticket holders a £5 Lounge Supplement at all times. ScotRail do not allow First Advance ticket holders to use their First Class Lounges.

Break of journey

You may not start, break and resume, or end your journey at any intermediate station except to change to/from connecting trains as shown on the ticket(s) or other valid travel itinerary.

Changing the time or date of travel

  • Changes to time or date of travel must be arranged before departure of the first reserved train printed on the ticket, after which the ticket has no value and a new one must be purchased. You will need to present the ticket(s) and reservation(s) when you request a change. Changes to tickets cannot be made on board the train. If you board a train without a ticket and reservation for that service, a new ticket must be purchased.
  • The origin, destination and Train Company or route shown on the ticket(s) must remain the same.
  • You'll need to pay the difference if your new ticket is more expensive and we won't refund the difference if your new Advance ticket is cheaper.
  • There's a £10 change fee per Advance ticket.


  • Your Advance ticket is non-refundable.
  • There is no refund value on any Advance ticket but, if the train you purchased a ticket for is cancelled or delayed by more than 60 minutes, special arrangements will be made to accommodate you on another train (although a seat cannot be guaranteed). If, as a result, you decide not to travel, a refund will be offered on completely unused tickets and you will not be charged an administration fee.