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Last updated: 03:08

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Advance tickets

Like to plan ahead and get cheap train tickets? Get great deals by booking Advance tickets on the Southern website.

Availability of Advance tickets 

Network Rail has made temporary changes to the advanced availability of final timetables for approximately six months from 20 May onwards, meaning these will be published later than normal.

This means that in a small number of instances, passengers will not be able to book tickets until less than the usual 12 weeks before travel. While the vast majority of passengers will be unaffected as 98% use season tickets, walk-on fares or book less than six weeks before travel, some passengers will be affected and the industry is working together to ensure that nobody loses out.

In the small number of instances where it is only possible to book tickets less than 12 weeks in advance, train operators will still offer the same range of discounted tickets. If trains are cancelled, the normal compensation mechanisms will apply - if people have booked on a train that is cancelled, delayed, or where their reservation will not be honoured, and they decide not to travel, they will be given a full refund. If people buy a ticket for a service affected by this change and then, at a later date advance tickets are made available which are at a cheaper fare, customers should book the advance fare for that service and then request a fee-free refund on their original ticket.

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

Advance tickets – great savings when you book ahead

Advance tickets are available up to 12 weeks before your travel date.

You can buy them for our routes and through to destinations outside our area too, where available.

We have just three standard class prices for our Advance tickets - £5, £8.50 and £12. We also have First class Advance tickets for £17.

Advance tickets are released up to 12 weeks in advance of departure – so the earlier you book, the more likely it is you’ll snap up a £5 ticket. Of course not everyone plans that far ahead, so you’ll be pleased to hear our £8.50 and £12 tickets are often available right up until 6pm the night before you travel.

Advance tickets can sell out quickly, so book early to avoid disappointment.

The very latest you can book an Advance ticket is 6pm on the night before you travel – if there are still tickets left.


Book Advance tickets now

One-way tickets and coming back home

Advance return fares are not available, so for a return journey you’ll need to book two singles.

Using single tickets means you can mix and match tickets, giving you more flexibility over dates and tickets.

For instance, you could get a standard class ticket going one way and a First Class ticket for the return.

Use the journey planner to find the best times and cheapest fares.

When you can use Advance tickets

You can only travel on the date and train shown on the reservation coupon/coupons issued to you for your journey, as well as your train ticket.

You won’t be able to get another train and you can't break your journey –for example, by getting off at an intermediate station and then getting on a later train to finish your journey.

Advance tickets for Southern's routes can't be used on public holidays.

Some sample fares

Brighton to London Victoria

Advance Single

Buy tickets from £5

London Victoria to Eastbourne

Advance Single

Buy tickets from £5.00

Gatwick Airport to London Victoria

Advance Single

Buy tickets from £5.00

Changing and getting refunds on Advance tickets

You can ask for changes to be made to your Advance ticket. But because there are only a limited number of tickets at each price, you may have to buy a higher-priced Advance ticket or even a single ticket (that you can use on a range of trains) to pay for the journey you now want to make.

If you want to make changes, the easiest way to do this, if you have not yet collected your ticket, is online in the ‘manage my tickets’ section of your account. We don’t charge you a fee for making a change online but you will only be able to purchase another advanced ticket. If you cannot find a suitable ticket and need to switch to a more flexible day ticket or you have printed your ticket, you'll have to ask at a ticket office before your first reserved train leaves. You’ll also have to pay a £10 administration fee on each ticket.

Advance tickets are non-refundable, so please plan your journey carefully.

Get more information about refunds and changing your ticket.

Railcard discounts on Advance tickets

You can get 1/3 off your ticket if you have a 16-25, Senior, HM Forces, Family & Friends, Two Together or Disabled Persons Railcard.

See more on railcards

Save with Advance tickets

Advance tickets are available up to 12 weeks before your travel date.