Last-minute train tickets | Advance purchase on the day | Trainline (2023)

How to get last-minute train tickets

If you’re looking for last-minute train tickets and discounts, then you’re in the right place. Use our Journey Planner right now to search for tickets and we'll show you the cheapest prices available, right up to 15 minutes before departure. If you've got the time, make sure to scroll down for our top tips on saving a bit more money, even at the last minute!

Whether you need to make an urgent work trip or you're planning a spontaneous getaway, you can always find the cheapest last-minute train tickets with us. Book your tickets now.

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Buy Advance tickets on the day

When it comes to last-minute train tickets, we’re on the ball. If you search via our app or website, we’ll always show you the cheapest available price for your tickets – but did you know that we also have a handy way to find the cheapest on-the-day fares? That’s right, our advance purchase on the day tool can help you to get the cheaper rail fares on the same day of travel. You’ll need to download our app to use it, but that’s well worth doing (more on that below)!

It’s easy to use when you’re on the go, meaning you can book last-minute train tickets in a flash. However, please bear in mind that Advance purchase on the day tickets may not always be available, depending on the popularity of a route and availability of tickets. On top of this, you may sometimes not be able to get a seat, even if you do get a late train ticket.

Use our app to find cheap last minute tickets

Want your train travel to be even easier and more intuitive? Then why not install our app? At the tip of your fingers, you’ll be able to see live departure boards, price alerts, favourite routes, as well as your tickets and trip details, meaning you save time and money.

Trust us, once you try a journey with a digital train ticket (no more queues or panic at the ticket machines) you won't want to go back!

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Popular last minute train journeys

We've highlighted some of the most popular UK journeys for last minute train tickets below, just tap on the links if you want to find out more about any of the routes.

FAQs about Advance purchase on the day tickets

What is advance purchase on the day?

How does it work?

Is an Advance On The Day ticket cheapest on the day?

Are there any limitations?

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If you're ready to book your last minute train tickets, what are you waiting for? Start a search in our Journey Planner now.

Want to find out more about saving money on train tickets? Why not head over to our trains deals and discounts hub, or our cheap train tickets guide for further help on getting lower rail fares.

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Can you buy train tickets on the day? ›

The deadline used to be 18:00 on the day before travel - but many train companies now allow you to buy an Advance ticket much later than this, even on the day of travel itself.

Is it better to buy train tickets on the day? ›

Is an Advance On The Day ticket cheapest on the day? An Advance On The Day ticket (when available) is cheaper than both the Off-Peak and Anytime tickets brought on the same day.

Can I book train ticket before 1 hour? ›

Reservation is allowed until the first chart is prepared, which is usually 4 hours prior to the scheduled departure of the train. Current reservation is allowed for some trains where you can book vacant seats after the first chart preparation.

How can I get train tickets immediately? ›

  1. This form is for users who are well acquainted with the ETICKETING Ticket booking Procedure. ...
  2. Register as an individual. ...
  3. Login by entering your user name and password.
  4. For Quick Book click on the link “QuickBook” after login.
  5. Select Ticket Type as E-Ticket or I-Ticket for quick book.

Can I book train ticket before 1 hour online? ›

A: Yes. If seats/berths are available on a train, you can book tickets – both General Quota tickets and Tatkal Quota tickets – till the chart preparation. Typically, the first chart is prepared about 4 hours prior to the scheduled departure of the train from the originating station.

Is it OK to buy a train ticket on the train? ›

It is no longer possible to buy the full range of tickets on board a train. Like all train companies*, you must buy a ticket before you board, or risk getting a penalty fare. Only undiscounted Anytime fares will be available from the conductor** - note that these are more expensive than purchasing before you travel.

Is it cheaper to buy tickets the day before? ›

It actually pays to wait. It might seem counterintuitive, but you're generally not going to get a cheaper ticket by buying early. That's just not how the laws of supply and demand work. “You'll spend a little less the closer you get to the show,” Erskine says.

Is it cheaper to buy tickets same day? ›

In general, same-day flights are cheaper than booking in advance, but it isn't always the case. Sometimes, booking a flight six months in advance might seem like a good idea.

Is it cheaper to buy tickets ahead of time? ›

Flights are generally the most inexpensive between four months and three weeks before your departure date. Seasonal changes and holidays can create price fluctuations in ticket prices. The day of the week that you book a flight does not affect the price.

Can I book train ticket before 15 minutes? ›

The requests for reservation at the reservation counters are accepted up to 4 hours before the scheduled departure of the train, after which, the reservation will be done at the current counters at the stations up to one hour before the scheduled departure of the train and thereafter by the Ticket Collector/Conductor ...

Can I book train ticket at 1 am? ›

Service Hours: Booking through Internet is allowed from 00:20 AM to 11:45 PM (Indian Standard Time) on all days including Sundays.

Can we book train ticket before 5 minutes? ›

While the 1st reservation chart will be prepared 4 hours before the departure of the train, the 1nd reservation chart will be prepared between 30 minutes to 5 minutes before departure of the train. This means, that passengers can book or cancel tickets 5 minutes prior to the departure, and this changes everything.

How many hours before current booking is available? ›

✅ How many hours before current booking is available? Current booking opens just after the chart is prepared for the train i.e. 3 or 4 hours prior to departure of the train.

What is the last time to book a train ticket? ›

You can reserve your ticket 60 days in advance, excluding the date of journey at the train originating station. At intermediate stations where the train arrives the following day, reservation can be done 61 days in advance. In the case of some intercity day express trains, the advance reservation period is less.

How early should you buy train tickets? ›

Advance train tickets are usually the cheapest way to travel by train, and generally go on sale 12 weeks before your date of travel. You'll need to travel on the train you're booked on, but you'll get a cheaper price by foregoing flexible travel times.

Can I get an earlier train with an advance ticket? ›

If it is ticket type "advance" then the answer is no. If ticket type "off peak" or "anytime" then yes.

What is the earliest you can book train tickets? ›

Advance Tickets and Seat Reservations

Advance tickets are generally not available earlier than 12 weeks before the date of travel.

Do tickets get cheaper closer to the train? ›

They're normally cheaper than the on-the-day price, but as it gets closer to the date of travel the price tends to go up.

What happens if I don't have a ticket on the train? ›

Online unconfirmed ticket passengers are not allowed to travel inside the train as the ticket money is refunded to the passenger if the seat is not confirmed till the time of preparation of departing train chart.

Is it better to purchase your ticket at the station or on the train? ›

To secure the best available fare, passengers should purchase tickets prior to boarding the train.

What time of the day are tickets cheapest? ›

According to Skyscanner's research, the best time to book on any given day is around 5 a.m. So, it's true that the early bird gets the worm. Or, the flight deal, that is. In addition, whether you want to save on domestic or international flights, you should also fire up your laptop on Sunday.

Why are tickets cheaper on Tuesday? ›

According to people that know the airfare industry well, sales on tickets used to go public on Tuesday. This meant that in order to get the airline tickets on sale, a person had to check on Tuesday before they were all gone. Back in those days, managers were manually updating prices and inputting discounts.

Do ticket prices fluctuate during the day? ›

Not only do airfares change often over the life of the fare, it can also change during the day. Factors that can impact these mid-day changes include flight demand, flight availability and external factors like COVID-19 virus and even geopolitics.

Are last minute tickets cheaper or more expensive? ›

You'd think everything would get cheaper as airlines try to sell off as many seats as possible, but that's far from the truth. In fact, it's the opposite. Airfare becomes notoriously expensive at the last minute.

Why do tickets get more expensive closer to the date? ›

The closer to the departure date, the more expensive the price. More seats tend to fill the closer to the departure date. As more tickets sell for any given flight, the demand increases creating a jump in ticket prices.

What day of the week is better to buy tickets? ›

Here are the top takeaways according to the 2023 Air Travel Hacks Report: Book airfare on a Sunday to save up to 15%: Travelers who book on Sundays instead of Fridays tend to save, on average, around 5% on domestic flights and 15% on international flights.

Are tickets booked on Tuesday cheaper? ›

Average domestic airfare price by day

The cheapest days to depart if you're flying within the U.S. are midweek — generally Tuesday or Wednesday. For economy tickets, Tuesdays are about 24% lower than peak prices on Sundays, which translates to savings of about $85 per ticket.

Is it cheaper to book tickets on Tuesday? ›

THE ANSWER: False. The Airlines Reporting Corporation partners with Expedia every year to analyze the purchase data of thousands of travel agencies and hundreds of airlines. The report found flights booked on Sunday often were the cheapest, with the average savings varying from 5 to 10%.

Is it cheaper to buy tickets during the week? ›

What's the best day to travel? While airfare prices fluctuate based on when you book, midweek travel is likely cheaper than flying on weekends. "Travelers who fly midweek, usually Wednesday, can save an average of $56 per ticket on domestic airfare throughout the year," according to Hopper data.

Can you use a train ticket twice in one day? ›

Anytime Day Single or Day Return Tickets are valid for one single or return journey on the date shown on the Ticket.

How to know train chart preparation time? ›

General Rules for Chart Preparation
  1. The first chart for any train is prepared by the authorities about 4 hours before the scheduled departure time of the train from the originating station.
  2. For the trains which are scheduled to depart early in the morning, the chart is prepared usually the night before the departure.
Mar 3, 2019

What is booking in advance? ›

An advance booking is a booking made before you arrive at a hotel, restaurant, or other place.

When did current reservation starts? ›

The reservation system that exists today, in its true sense, was introduced in 1933 when British Prime-Minister Ramsay Macdonald presented the 'Communal Award'. The award made provision for separate electorates for Muslims, Sikhs, Indian Christians, Anglo-Indians, Europeans and the Dalits.

How can I book train tickets before 2 hours? ›

Passengers can make reservations at empty berths and also return tickets. Travellers can purchase tickets from the station where the current booking counter is located and also can take e-reservation tickets from mobile a few hours before the departure of the train.

What time is cheapest to buy train tickets? ›

Book in advance

The earlier you book, the more money you save. Buy train tickets up to three months in advance for the cheapest fares.

Can tickets be booked after charting? ›

You can book the vacant seat after chart preparation with TTE or IRCTC's official website or app.

How long before can you buy train tickets? ›

Advance tickets are generally not available earlier than 12 weeks before the date of travel. Once train times are confirmed, Advance tickets will begin to appear in our Journey Planner.

When should I buy train tickets? ›

Always Book Early

Cheap train tickets are usually released by train operators in advance of the journey. Normally, this is around 12 weeks in advance, as the timetable for any particular day is normally confirmed 12 weeks in advance.

What day are train tickets the cheapest? ›

Light on the pocket meets peace of mind

According to Frommer's, Amtrak offers specials every week, and it's best advised to check on Tuesdays and Fridays to see what sale deals are offered by them.

Can I buy normal train ticket online? ›

Indian Railways offers the facility to purchase unreserved tickets through mobile phone at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Secunderabad.

Do I need to book train tickets in advance? ›

1. Re: Is it better to buy train tickets in advance ? In general it is cheaper to book long distance trains ahead of time - 10 to 12 weeks is when cheap (but inflexible) tickets are released for sale. At 30 days on most routes there would be a reasonable selection still on sale if you are not too choosy about times.

Do train prices go up closer to the date? ›

Do train ticket prices go up on the day? Train operators usually release advance tickets around 12 weeks before the date of travel, and these rise in price up until the day. So, it's best to book well ahead if possible.

Is roundtrip cheaper Amtrak? ›

Also: Round-trip fares are cheaper, too, on Amtrak, but the margin is much smaller.

Does Amtrak give AAA discounts? ›

AAA Member Benefits:

Save $50 per booking on packages of 5 nights or longer.

Can I buy 2 train tickets for myself? ›

As per rule , you can't buy 02 seats for a Single person. Railway officials has power to vacate that extra seat and can allocate seat to the person who has Waiting List ticket.

How can I check my train seat is empty? ›

Step 1: Enter the source and destination cities. Step 2: Enter your journey date or select from the calendar. Step 3: Click on “Search Trains”. Step 4: You will land on the page where all the trains running between the source and destination station are listed, along with the seat availability.

How to book train ticket online from mobile? ›

Steps to book IRCTC train tickets online on
  1. Select source and destination stations.
  2. Select date of journey.
  3. Select train from the list of trains from the source and destination.
  4. Select class (sleeper, 3rd AC etc.)
  5. Select Boarding point.
  6. Enter passenger details and berth preferences.


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