When planning your journey, please:
carry hand sanitiser and wash your hands wear a face covering when onboard and in the station Please travel at quieter periods during this time Always check before you travel go contactless and please buy digital tickets

Last updated: 21/09/2020

Important Information

Update to guidelines on face coverings

You must wear a face covering (unless you are exempt) when onboard a train in England, Scotland and Wales.

In line with guidance from the Government, you must now also wear a face covering when you’re at a station in England and Scotland. If you’re at a station in Wales, we’d still strongly suggest wearing a face covering to protect yourself and others. 

Some people may not be able to wear a face covering such as young children, people with specific medical reasons, those with breathing difficulties or whose disabilities make it difficult for them to wear a face covering. 

Anyone who isn’t wearing a face covering and isn’t exempt could receive a fine of up to £6,400 from the British Transport Police.

For more information, please see current Government guidance for EnglandScotland and Wales.

Local lockdowns

Local lockdown measures are in place across the UK. Please check local guidance before travel here. Should you need to change your travel plans as a result, you can click here to find out more about refunds and amendments.

Book before you travel

Travel at quieter times

We’re encouraging customers to book travel for quieter periodsCurrently, our busiest times are between 9.30am-2pm, and 4pm-6pm and all day on Friday. To help you understand when services are becoming too busy, we’ll highlight popular trains when you book a ticket on our website. You can also view busy trends herePlease take this into account and choose a quieter service where possible.

Book ahead

To help manage social distancing on our trains, we’ve significantly reduced the seating capacity. Therefore, we strongly recommend you book your tickets ahead and make a seat reservation. Bookings can be made up to five minutes before your scheduled departure on our website or app. If you don't have a reservation for your preferred train, there is no guarantee you'll be able to board.

Make a seat reservation

All Advance tickets will come with a reservation. If you’re booking a flexible ticket (Off-Peak or Anytime) in advance, please request a reservation with it. 

As we’re running amended timetables, you won't be able to reserve seats as far in advance as usual so you can check here when reservations will be open for your chosen travel date. If reservations are not available when you book, or, if you're a Season ticket holder, please book your place by contacting seat.reservations@avantiwestcoast.co.uk with your name, journey details and booking reference or ticket. 
Please note we can only provide reservations for Avanti West Coast services. If you're travelling with another train operator you'll need to contact them here to request a reservation.

You must sit in the seat you’ve been allocated to ensure safe social distancing. If you’re travelling with members of your household, you may sit together – but please maintain a safe distance from other customers. For any other enquiries please get in touch.

To help you get onboard, please familiarise yourself with our boarding zones which are detailed here.

Our Safe Travels Pledge

We’re committed to making sure you can travel with confidence and have outlined our Safe Travels Pledge below:

Maximising space
We’re running more trains which means more room for social distancing onboard.

Extra cleaning
We’re cleaning more than ever with extra focus on touch points in stations and on trains.

Helping with hygiene
We’ve put more hand sanitisers in our stations to help you keep your hands clean.

Keeping you up to speed
We’ve added more signage, posters and guidance to keep you informed every step of the way.

Watch this video to find out more about some of the ways we're helping to keep you safe:

COVID-19 travel safety video

As we increase our safety measures, we trust you'll also do your bit to help keep our services safe. Please make sure you follow guidance and understand the following measures in place before you travel:

Here’s how you can help keep services safe during your journey
At our stations
Onboard our trains

Needing assistance for your journey?

By letting us know your travel requirements in advance, we can help make sure you have a hassle-free journey. There are extra measures in place to ensure the safety of you and our teams, including the use of face coverings. You can find more information here Assisted Travel.

Updated timetables

To further enable social distancing and keep our services safe,  we have reintroduced direct services to Shrewsbury, Chester, Wrexham, Blackpool and Edinburgh. A direct service from North Wales to and from London has also been added and we continue to run the extra early morning services from Milton Keynes to London that started in July. This is in addition to the current 8 trains per hour to and from Euston, taking us to around 90% of our normal service levels.

Please note that timetables are being updated more frequently than usual at this time, so please check your journey before you travel. For travel dates below, timetables are due to be available as follows:

Updated timetables

Advance tickets and reservations are being released later than usual for weekend travel. So if you’re planning a journey, we recommend checking the table below to see when you can get the cheapest fares


Travel date

Timetable available from

Reservations open from

 Advance fares available from

Weekdays (Mon to Fri) until 11 December

Available now

Available now

Available now


Advance tickets and reservations are being released later than usual for weekend travel. For selected routes only, from the 21st September you will be able to make reservations further in advance. Those services with reservations not yet available will be highlighted in the journey results within our booking engine when you search for a ticket.
So, if you're planning a journey, we recommend checking the table below to see when you can get the cheapest advanced fares.


Travel date

Timetable available from

Reservations open from

Advance fares available from

For services between London Euston and Manchester, Liverpool and selected Birmingham services

3 October to 6 December

Available now

Sunday 21 September

Monday 28 September

All services Saturday 26 September Thursday  24 September Friday 11 September

Saturday 12 September

All services

Sunday 27 September

Thursday 24 September

Saturday 12 September

Sunday 13 September

Planned improvement works

We advise you to check before you travel and only continue with your journey if it’s essential. You can find all the details and changes to our services on the Planned improvement works page.

COVID-19: Changing your travel plans

All refunds and amendments should be requested where you originally bought your ticket.

For tickets that have been purchased direct with us (on our website, app or from colleagues at stations and onboard), fee-free refunds and amendments are currently available on Anytime, Off-Peak or Super Off-Peak tickets. For any tickets purchased on or after 7 September 2020, the £10 fee for amending tickets will be re-introduced, except for tickets bought at stations where changes will remain free of charge. Advance tickets are non-refundable, even in lockdown and quarantine scenarios. Our flexible tickets (Anytime, Off-Peak and Super Off-Peak) are recommended if you need added peace of mind.

If you got your ticket through another retailer, you'll need to get in touch with them directly for advice on changes and refunds.

Please be aware that you may only use a ticket that is for a specific train operator on that operator's services unless special arrangements are advised.

If you have a ticket that is for a specific train operator and the train is cancelled, this may be used on any service provided by any operator between the same start and end station on the same date.

If you’d like to make an amendment or apply for a refund, please read the following advice to understand which process applies for you.

Please be advised refund requests can take up to 28 days to process.

I bought my ticket at a station
I have a Season ticket
I bought my ticket at avantiwestcoast.co.uk or on the app
I have a Car Park Season ticket
I have a Railcard and I need to find out if I will be give an extension or a discount on renewal
I have a Plusbus ticket
I have a Rail Travel Voucher


What constitutes a face covering?
What do rail staff do to make sure people wear face coverings on trains?
Who should be wearing a face covering?
What if I can’t wear a face covering for medical reasons or due to a disability?
When should I be wearing a face covering?
What should I do if I’m sitting in a carriage with someone who isn’t wearing a face covering?
What do I do with my face covering when I am finished with it?
When is best to travel and how do I avoid busy periods?
What is the cross-border travel advice (if I'm travelling between Scotland, England or Wales)?
How can I make a reservation?
What should I do if the train I request is full?
What happens if my train is cancelled?
What are your ticket office opening hours?
Can I use cash?
Are Avanti West Coast providing hand sanitisers?
Are toilets still open on trains and at stations?
Can I use a train if I am showing cold or flu-like symptoms?
Can I use a train if I have coronavirus?
Can I use a train if I have been asked to self-isolate?
Who can travel by train?
Where should I sit on the train?