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By purchasing a Northern Advance train ticket, you can choose the best time to travel at the lowest available fare. Advance fares are available on selected routes across the Northern network. 

Advance tickets are great value Single (one-way) tickets but have limited availability. Book ahead to take advantage of these great value fares. Northern  Advance tickets are available up to 10 weeks ahead of travel but, subject to availability, you can still get a last-minute bargain up to 5 minutes before travel online, up to 15 minutes before travel from ticket vending machines and up to the day before in ticket offices. The earlier you buy, the lower the price. 

Visit National Rail to find out the list of dates currently available for booking our Advance tickets.

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Why book in advance?

Choose the lowest available price for your journey

It's cost effective! Save up to 65% with Advance purchase tickets

Railcards apply! We have a wide range of railcards available

Get tickets straight to your phone with our Northern App

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Change your Advance ticket on the day

We get it, plans change. From a last minute drink with colleagues, to getting home earlier to surprise the kids. Now you can swap your Advance ticket on the day from as little as £2.50 with our partner Seatfrog.

Change your train
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Kids go half price!

Exploring and sharing time together should be stress free – from the moment you step out your front door to the minute you arrive. So if you fancy making your family adventures a little less stressful, why not take the train? Our onboard free Wi-Fi helps ...

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How far in advance can I book a train ticket?

We all need something to look forward to after collectively going through unprecedented times. Now more than ever we are committing to holidays, concerts, festivals and events; because before we weren’t sure when we could even do these things again. Whether it be your favourite band reuniting and touring the UK for the first time since you were a teen, or your best friend’s Hen party that is finally happening after being cancelled and rearranged, you will want to think about booking travel in advance!

But when can you book your ticket? And how far in advance can you go? Browse our information below, so you can be first on the ball with making sure you can all get around the UK; and earn some organisation brownie points from your friends and family

So just how far in advance can I book my ticket?

Northern advance tickets are usually released 10 weeks ahead of travel, however, this can vary depending on which operator you book with. Some operators release advance tickets 12 weeks before the departure date, although some can go on sale as far as 24 weeks in advance. Advance tickets are limited in number, so be sure to put a date in the diary for when you can secure yours, and benefit from better deals and better seats!

Use our Journey Planner to browse our range of advance tickets!

How to get cheap tickets & great deals for your journey

Remember, the further you book in advance, the more deals you may find! Northern offers a wide variety of tickets to suit all of your train travel needs, while still offering you incredible deals. Have a look at our Advance tickets and save up to 65% on your next journey, or travel together and save up to 25% with our Duo Train tickets.


Save up to 65% when you buy tickets in advance


Travel together and save 25% with duo tickets

Save on the day

Get a cheaper ticket up to 5 minutes before you travel

Flexi Season tickets

Commute when it suits you

Rangers and Rovers

Hop on and off as you wish

Anytime train tickets

For travel when it suits you

Off-peak train tickets

Lower prices at quieter times*

More tips for cost-efficient train travel

Download our app and save even more on all of your train tickets by using it to check out the latest travel updates and offers. 

More important information

Please also be aware that essential railway improvement work will be taking place on several routes across the country, and this may affect your service.

Please check our Live Service Updates for more information closer to your date of travel.

How to buy your Advance ticket online

Purchase online or through our app. Simply enter your journey details into the 'Train tickets and times' search to find the cheapest Advance fares available. You'll find the cheapest tickets 10 weeks in advance.

Your tickets will be available to view in the Northern App, which you'll need to show to the conductor on the train. Alternatively, you can receive your tickets by First Class post (please allow seven days for delivery); collect your pre-paid tickets from ticket vending machines (TVMs) at participating stations.

From station ticket offices

You can buy tickets from staffed ticket offices, however Advance tickets are only available up to the day before travel. Our ticket offices will accept all major credit/debit cards, cash, National Rail vouchers and rail warrants.

How to change your Advance ticket on the day of travel

We understand that plans can change last minute, that’s why we have partnered with Seatfrog to offer our Advance customers Train Swap. Find out more Train Swap here, then head to the Train Swap website and select your current train service and choose your new Northern service. Swaps start from £2.50 and your swap barcode will be emailed to you. Changes can be made up to 5 minutes before departure.

Contact us

If you're having any trouble booking tickets visit our contact us page for further details on how to get in touch - our trained staff can always find the best ticket for you.

*Northern Advance tickets are available off-peak only and are subject to availability. The lowest fares are available up to 23:59 the day before travel. Actual average saving is 65%. Saving is based on an average Northern advanced fare versus purchase on the day price. Tickets are subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply.

Terms and Conditions

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


Tickets must be purchased in advance of travel. They are sold in limited numbers and so subject to availability.


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

When and where the ticket can be used?

  • Tickets are valid ONLY on the date and train service(s) shown on the ticket(s).
  • Where applicable, you must travel in the Class and 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 *, the ticket includes the cost of travelling across London on London Underground, Docklands Light Railway or First Capital Connect (Thameslink Route) services as appropriate to the journey.

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. Please check with the train company you are travelling with to confirm policy at specific stations.

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. Depending on the Train Company you are travelling with, you may be liable to a Penalty Fare if you board the train with an invalid ticket.
  • The origin, destination and Train Company or route shown on the ticket(s) must remain the same.
  • The difference between the price paid and cost of the next suitable fare for your journey is payable, plus a £10 administration fee per person, per single ticket for each change to a journey. If you change to a train on which a cheaper fare is available, the difference will not be refunded.


  • Your ticket is non-refundable.
  • 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.
  • Passengers are eligible for fee-free refunds and fee-free changes of journey should
    their journey be affected due to service disruptions or cancellations, including any periods of
    future industrial action.

Book with Confidence - now ended

  • The national “Book with Confidence” easement has now ended. This was introduced during the pandemic for passengers booking ahead, and ending this easement brings the rail industry in line with other transport industries that have also reinstated pre-pandemic ticket conditions.
  • Customers who buy an Advance ticket up to and including 30 November 2022 will continue to have the Book with Confidence easement to Advance terms until 18:00 the day before their ticket is valid for travel.
  • After 30 November 2022, any new ticket issued as a result of a change to a ticket that is covered by Book with Confidence will be subject to the ticket terms that apply from 01 December 2022 onwards. 
  • Rail Travel Vouchers issued by retailers through the Book with Confidence easement will continue to be valid for future purchases for a maximum of 12 months from the date of issue. 



Frequently asked questions

Advance purchase tickets are released 10 weeks before the service departure, with the cheaper fares available when booked earlier in the booking window. Fares will increase over time and be more expensive on the day of travel. 

Advance tickets are limited in numbers and subject to availability. Our busiest services are likely to have much less advance purchase availability. Northern always encourages customers to purchase tickets before the day of departure to maximise savings.

We have recently added thousands of new fares across our network, making Advance Purchase more accessible for customers than ever before. We recognise Advance tickets are currently not available from every station, but we regularly collect feedback and implement new fares at stations based on customer demand.  

Customers who are unable to purchase tickets digitally can purchase Advance tickets from ticket offices from 10 weeks to 1 day before travel. Advance Purchase will not be available to purchase from Ticket Offices on the day of departure but remain available from TVMs, the website and the Northern App.

Please visit National Rail to find out the list of dates currently available for booking our Advance tickets.

Advance tickets can be used alongside most Railcards – Check TIS or Railcard T&Cs for details.

Customers can not start, break and resume, or end their journey at any intermediate station except to change to/from connecting trains as shown on the ticket(s).

Advance tickets are TOC (Train Operating Company), date and time specific, and are only eligible to use on the service shown on the ticket. If a customer is found travelling on a different service to that shown on the ticket(s), they may be liable to pay a penalty fare of £100.

Advance Purchase tickets are non-refundable, however if the train you purchased a ticket for is cancelled or delayed, and as a result you decide not to travel, a refund will be offered on any unused tickets.

You can swap the departure time of your Advanced train ticket for another same-day Northern service. You can make the changes one day in advance right up to 10 minutes before your original train departs. 

Visit the train swap website to change your ticket. 

Northern App

Streamline your journey and get tickets straight to your phone. Making your journey contact-free.

Northern App

Streamline your journey and get tickets straight to your phone. Making your journey contact-free.