When planning your journey, please:

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Last updated: 09/07/2020

Book before you travel

Travel at quieter times

We’re encouraging customers to book travel for quieter periods. Currently, our busiest times are between 9.30am and 1pm, and 4pm and 6pm. To help you understand when services are becoming too busy, we’ll highlight popular trains when you book 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. If you don’t have a reservation for your preferred train, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to board. Bookings can be made up to five minutes before your scheduled departure on our website or app.

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, reservations aren’t open as far in advance as usual so you can check here when reservations will be open for your chosen day of travel. If reservations are not available when you book, or, if you are 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.

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

From Monday 6 July, to enable social distancing and keep our services safe, we will be increasing our timetable from 6 to 8 trains per hour to and from London. The two extra services will be on the Manchester and Birmingham routes, both returning to their usual three trains per hour. We will also be running an increased number of services between Holyhead and Crewe where connections can be made to or from London.

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


Travel date

Timetable available from

Reservations open from

 Advance fares available from

Monday 6 July to Friday 10 July

Thursday 25 June

Wednesday 1


 Thursday 2 July

Saturday 11 July

Saturday 4 July

Tuesday 7 July

 Wednesday 8 July

Sunday 12 July

Saturday 4 July

Tuesday 7 July

 Wednesday 8 July

 Monday 13 July - Friday 4 September


 Friday 4 July

 Friday 10 July

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 bought direct on our website, our app or from our colleagues at stations and onboard, fee-free refunds and amendments are available on Anytime, Off-Peak or Super Off-Peak tickets. This also applies to Advance tickets purchased before 7am on 23 March 2020, to travel on or after this date. 

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

You can still also change the date and time of your Advance ticket without an admin fee if you do wish to re-book for a future date.

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

We are currently experiencing a very high volume of refund requests for Advance tickets and Season tickets and they may take up to 28 days to be processed. Due to measures taken in order to minimise the spread of COVID-19, our call centre is closed at the moment. 

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/I have an eVoucher


What constitutes a face covering?
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?
How can I make a reservation?
What happens when the train I request is full?
What are your ticket office opening hours?
Can I use cash?
Are Avanti West Coast providing hand sanitisers?
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?