Advance Tickets

Buying your tickets in advance can save you money

Advance tickets are a great way to save money if you're able to be flexible about when you travel, and don't mind being committed to catching a specific train. We sell Advance tickets on our quieter trains on long-distance routes, and both Standard Class and First Class tickets are available.

Advance tickets are for single journeys only, so if you're making a return trip you'll need to make sure you buy a ticket for each direction! You can mix-and-match your advance tickets, times, and class of travel to suit your travel needs.
 

When can I buy an Advance ticket?
We'll put advance tickets on sale up to 12 weeks ahead of time and you can buy them up until 23:59 on the day before you travel, but the earlier you book, the better the chance of getting a cheaper ticket! Remember that Advance tickets are limited in number, so when one fare is sold out, it won't be available anymore for that train.

Find out when Advance tickets are available
 

Are there any extra discounts on Advance tickets?
You can save 34% extra with all railcards on Standard Class Advance fares except Network Railcards and Gold Cards. If you hold the following railcards, you’re also entitled to 34% off all First Class Advance fares.
Discounts also apply on all child Advance tickets!

How can I buy an Advance ticket?
The easiest way to buy your Advance ticket is through our website, but you can also buy over the phone with our sales team, or at any ticket office.

You cannot purchase Advance tickets at our ticket machines at stations.

Find out more about ways to buy your ticket.

Buy tickets now
 

Can I break my journey with Advance ticket?
Advance tickets don't allow you to break your journey, so you'll need to travel from your starting station to your destination without leaving the railway.

Help! I need to travel on a different train - can I change my ticket?
Advance tickets aren't refundable, but you can change your ticket. If the same fare isn't available on the train you want to travel on, you'll need to pay the difference plus a £10 admin fee.

Remember that your Advance ticket is only valid for the train that you've booked it for, so if your plans change, tell us as soon as possible.
 

What happens if I miss my next train because of a delay?
If you've been delayed by the railway (for example, if you miss your connecting service because of a delay to your train) then you can use your ticket on the next train. If your ticket wouldn't normally be valid on that train (for example, if it's a peak time train) then speak to the ticket office or on-board team to get your ticket stamped or signed to allow you to travel.

If you've been delayed by something that's not within our control, then you'll need to buy a new ticket. Speak to the station team who will be able to give you more advice and help.

If a delay on one of our trains means you end up being 15 minutes late or more to your destination, you may be entitled to claim compensation under our Delay Repay scheme.


There are engineering works now and I don't want to travel. Can I get a refund?
If there's a change in journey times or mode of travel (a bus replacement service) and you no longer want to travel you can claim a full refund on the unused tickets from your original retailer.

The timetable has changed and the train I'm booked to travel on isn't running. What can I do?
If you purchase an Advance ticket more than six weeks before your journey, please make sure you check back with us six weeks before you travel to see if your train time, mode of travel (bus replacement instead of a train) and price have changed.

If you check back and your train time has changed significantly (moved by over 15 minutes either side of your ticket), then your tickets will be valid on the service immediately before or after the one you planned to travel on. You won't need to make any changes to your ticket.


Temporary changes to how far in advance railway timetables will be confirmed

Network Rail has temporarily changed how far in advance train timetables can be confirmed following ongoing problems with industry planning processes. Train times and tickets are usually confirmed and available for you to plan and book your journeys up to 12 weeks before you travel. Now, train times will be confirmed and finalised up to 6 weeks before you travel.

Network Rail are working hard to rectify this problem, but there is no quick fix and we anticipate the issue will continue for some time.

We are sorry that this may affect your ability to plan ahead and we will keep you updated on our progress to resolve this issue which affects all train operators.

What this means when you buy Advance tickets
With only a small number of South Western Railway trains affected by this, we want you to continue planning your journeys and have put in place a series of measures to support this. You will still be able to purchase tickets including our discounted advance fares on longer journeys 12 weeks before you travel, but it is possible the train timetable could change. We expect final timetables to be confirmed six weeks before your train’s departure date.

What should you do if your Advance Purchase ticket is bought more than six weeks before you travel?
If you purchase an Advance ticket more than six weeks before your journey, please ensure you check back with us at the 6 weeks mark to see if your train time, mode of travel (bus replacement instead of a train) and price may have altered.

If you check back and your train time has changed significantly (moved by over 15 minutes either side of your ticket), then your tickets will be valid on the service immediately before or after your originally booked service without you having to make any changes to your ticket.

Refunds are not normally available on Advance purchase tickets, but if the change in journey times or mode of travel (a bus replacement service) means that you no longer wish to travel you may claim a full refund on the unused tickets from your original retailer.

If the fare available 6 weeks before the departure date is less than the fare originally purchased for the same journey you may wish to purchase these tickets at the cheaper fare. A full refund of the original unused tickets with no admin fee will be available from the retailer where you made your original purchase.

How to get your tickets

Email, post, print at home, download or collect from the station.

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