When planning your journey, please:

Check before you travel carry hand sanitiser and wash your hands wear a face covering when onboard and in the station Please travel at quieter periods during this timeGo Contactless

Last updated: 05/05/2021

Important Information

Please continue to follow government guidance for travelling in EnglandScotland and Wales.
Should you need to change your travel plans as a result of government travel restrictions, you can click here to find more refunds and amendments information.

Changes to our timetables

To help you travel with confidence this summer we'll be adding more trains to our timetable from 16 May. Our Manchester and Birmingham routes will see an extra service each hour, taking us to six trains per hour to and from London, up from the current four.
All our other destinations will see the same level of service.
This timetable will remain in place until September, and we will continue to monitor and flex if required, as guided by Government guidance and passenger demand.
Customers are strongly advised to check our timetables page before they travel, as there will be some changes to our existing and other operator’s services.

To sign up for ticket alerts please visit our Advance ticket alerts page.

Guidelines on face coverings

In line with government guidance, you must wear a face covering (unless you are exempt) when you’re at a station and whilst onboard a train.

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.

For anyone who isn't wearing a face covering and isn't exempt, the penalty for failing to wear a face covering will now be £200 for a first offence, doubling each time to a maximum fine of £6,400 from the British Transport Police. For more information on this please see the government guidance on face coverings.

Book before you travel

Travel at quieter times

At this time we are encouraging customers to book travel for quieter periodsCurrently, most popular times are between 10am-12pm, 2pm-4pm and 6pm-7.30pm.To help you understand which services to choose to maintain social distancing, we’ll highlight popular trains when you book a ticket on our website. You can view our most popular times to travel here.
We continue to monitor how many seats are booked on each of our trains and regularly check this information to ensure its reflective of the average train loadings.

Please 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. We are:

We're making more space which means more room for social distancing onboard

We're making extra room to help with social distancing onboard.

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

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

We've put more hand sanitisers in our stations to help you keep your hands clean

We've put more hand sanitisers in our stations to help you keep your hands clean.

We've added more signage, posters and guidance to keep you informed every step of the way

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. If you know you are going to be travelling and want to book Passenger Assist for your next trip use our online passenger assist form.

Will assistance still be available if I haven’t booked?

If you need a hand on the day and haven’t booked, we will do everything that we can to help. Please speak to a member of our team, who will be able help you with your specific needs.

If there are no members of our team available, please contact us on social media @avantiwestcoast or by using the station help points.

How are our staff keeping things safe during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Our Passenger Assist service remains available during the COVID-19 pandemic, with extra measures in place to ensure the safety of you and our teams. Our Passenger Assist team will be wearing gloves and face coverings for your protection as well as socially distancing where possible. We kindly ask that, where possible, you do the same.

The Sunflower scheme

We recognise that not every disability is visible, and we hope all our customers can travel with dignity. That’s why we’ve partnered with the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower scheme. By wearing the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, you can discreetly indicate to our staff that you may need additional support, a little more time or that you’re unable to wear a face covering.

Click here to find out more about the Sunflower Scheme.

Alongside this, we also still recognise Just a Minute (JAM) cards. For more information about JAM cards, please take a look here:  JAM cards

What if I need help with my luggage?

We can help with your luggage, but we’d really appreciate if you could limit the amount you bring along to the essentials. The need for fewer staff helps to manage effective social distancing.

Update to our timetables

We continue to run our amended timetable which means some train times and tickets are not yet available to view or book. For details on when future timetables and tickets will be released please visit our timetables page:

Our timetables page

We advise, as always - to check before you travel and plan ahead.

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

For tickets that have been purchased directly with us (on our website, app or from colleagues at stations), please see guidance below:

I have an Anytime, Off-Peak or Super Off-Peak ticket
I have an Advance ticket
I have a Season ticket
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?
Are the waiting rooms open?
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?
Which catering facilities are available onboard?