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London to Holyhead train? Reservations not available.

  • 24 November 2022
  • 10 replies
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  • Right on track
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Good morning all, 

I’m attempting to book a reservation required train from London to Holyhead on Jan 4th, 2023, while it appears that there are several trains scheduled, I’m not finding anything that is bookable. Avanti West Coast is showing the timetable is not confirmed yet (just that week and some weeks).

Is this likely to change?
Is this due to the ongoing strikes?
is this something that I may have to do when I arrive in the UK?

If not, this may turn out to be an overnight adventure.

Thanks again,

Ron

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Best answer by Al_G 24 November 2022, 16:08

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Userlevel 7
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Where are you trying to book? Eurail can't book British trains.

Reservations for day trains in GB are optional and free of charge. You can book them via a ticket office in GB or online via GWR, see these steps:

If that doesn't work for you, then please let us know what departure time you're trying to book.

Userlevel 7
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Reservations are not required for domestic UK trains.

 

Avanti in particular is a complete mess, cancellations all over the place and trains not bookable but showing as reservation compulsory.

 

They haven’t been running many of their trains through to Holyhead for months, mostly terminating at Chester and this pattern will continue for some time as their issues are ongoing. There are other trains Chester - Holyhead run by TfW though, expect to have to change at possibly Crewe and Chester and it is best advised to plan some room for the exact schedule you want to not run in full.

 

I assume this is for a connection to the ferry, as there is very little other good reason to go to Holyhead, what is your preferred schedule?

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Edit: 48hr strikes are currently planned for 3rd and 4th January across UK rail companies.

 

These ongoing strikes had been suspended but it appears are now back on, best to check again in coming weeks to see if they will be lifted or set in stone.

 

If on, despite suggestions otherwise I wouldn’t recommend planning on any worthwhile service to be available.

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

For up to date information on timetables and strikes, check http://nationalrail.co.uk/ and under no circumstance rely on the rail planner app or Eurail website.

Where are you trying to book? Eurail can't book British trains.

Reservations for day trains in GB are optional and free of charge. You can book them via a ticket office in GB or online via GWR, see these steps:

If that doesn't work for you, then please let us know what departure time you're trying to book.

Thank you. Good news on no reservations required, despite the rail planner stating reservations are required. I’ve looked at several sites, including GWR.

Reservations are not required for domestic UK trains.

 

Avanti in particular is a complete mess, cancellations all over the place and trains not bookable but showing as reservation compulsory.

 

They haven’t been running many of their trains through to Holyhead for months, mostly terminating at Chester and this pattern will continue for some time as their issues are ongoing. There are other trains Chester - Holyhead run by TfW though, expect to have to change at possibly Crewe and Chester and it is best advised to plan some room for the exact schedule you want to not run in full.

 

I assume this is for a connection to the ferry, as there is very little other good reason to go to Holyhead, what is your preferred schedule?

You are correct, this leg of my trip is the ferry to Dublin, I figured I would take care of the train portion prior to the ferry portion. As long as I can make it to Holyhead around mid-afternoon, I should be good.

Thanks everyone! I will have to keep an eye on this, both the strikes and rail service issues. If worst come to worst, I’ll have to jump on the West Midlands--Transport for Wales overnight if the strike doesn’t become an issue.

I used the Holyhead train 2 weeks ago, no seat reservation needed for both the Avanti and TfWales trains, whatever the Interrail app may say - but either way you can book a free seat reservation via GWR. Chester and Conwy are lovely and well worth a stopover. If you have a choice, the Avanti trains from Chester onwards seem to be much quieter than the TfW ones. Sit on the right going towards Holyhead for the best sea views. 

Lots of strikes coming up in Dec/Jan, I find that the independent.co.uk/travel website has good info on what is still running despite this. 

Userlevel 7
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If the strike happens then the only sensible option to make the journey is taking a flight, London - Dublin is very well served from all the “London” airports. You shouldn’t have any trouble getting a reasonable priced flight at relatively short notice. If the strike is still on by Christmas then it is unlikely to get resolved as all the important people (politicians) will not be around anyway.

 

If the strike doesn’t happen then you will have no trouble making the 14.45 ferry, it may mean planning to depart Euston around 8am to leave some wiggle room but I wouldn’t have any hesitation making that journey and it is a route I have taken many times.

Thankyou @Jeroenvm and @Al_G. I will keep an eye on this and fly if needed.

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