How to travel from Glasgow to Leeds by train

Glasgow to Leeds by train

How to travel by train from Glasgow to Leeds

Rail journeys from Glasgow to Leeds currently being impacted by the reduced timetables introduced in response to the pandemic.
Only one direct train per day is available, and this is the 07:48 departure from Glasgow.
The alternative current journey options with only one connection at Carlisle or Lancaster between trains tend to be both cheaper and faster than this train; and the route is more scenic too!



From Glasgow Central to Leeds

Travel Information

Final Destination: Penzance or Plymouth or Bristol or Birmingham

All trains also call at: York

The usual service:

Between 06:00 and 17:00 on Mondays to Saturdays trains depart from Glasgow every other hour.
On Sundays there are fewer trains because the usual first two departures aren't available.

A mix of 125 and Voyager trains are used on this route, but there is no means of working out which of these trains will be used on the departure you will be travelling by.

Current timetable:
1 x train per day

Usual timetable (pre-pandemic):
Mon - Sat = 7 x trains per day
Sunday = 5 x trains


Book Early and Save: Yes

Online Bookings Usually Open: From 12 weeks ahead of travel of the travel date

Booking Advance Tickets

If you want to travel at the cheapest possible price, look for the 'Advance tickets', though the three key things worth knowing about booking and using 'Advance' tickets are:
(1) Your ticket(s) will only be valid on the departure you selected when making a booking
(2) A fee will be payable if you want to transfer your ticket(s) to a different departure ahead of your travel date.
(3) This type of ticket can't be refunded if you subsequently change your travel plans, or miss the train in circumstances not to do with the train company.


When you book an Advance ticket for this train journey, you will be automatically assigned a seat(s), but if you book the other types of ticket ahead, you can request a complimentary reservation

However, if you buy Off Peak or Anytime tickets just prior to boarding at the station, a seat reservation WON'T be automatically included with your booking.

Though, CrossCountry now offers a service buy which holders of Anytime and Off-Peak tickets can book reservations up to 10 minutes prior to departure time.

Travelling on Monday - Friday

Tickets are usually available 12 weeks ahead of the travel date.

However, when you look up a journey you may see dates further ahead on the calendar, but you'll be informed that tickets aren't yet available for those dates.

Travelling on Saturday-Sunday

Tickets are usually available 12 weeks ahead of the travel date, but maintenance work on the route is periodically undertaken at weekends and if it is scheduled on your travel date, it can affect when tickets will be released for sale.

If you're looking up a journey less than 12 weeks ahead and Advance tickets aren't available, it can be a good indication that works will be impacting on your travel date; a fairly common occurence on a journey as long as this.
It can be worth checking the National Rail website

Finding a late deal

CrossCountry atypically offers the ability to book Advance tickets until up to 15 minutes before departure.

However, because of the length of this route, you may be able to save money by splitting the tickets across separate sections of the journey.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
CrossCountry *

CrossCountry Guide

If you will be buying tickets last minute for CrossCountry trains so won't have received a reservation, you can arrange reservations up to 10 mins before departure by using the 10 minute reservation service.

Another aspect of how CrossCountry offers tickets for sale outside of the norm is that if you book any type of ticket ahead, you will automatically receive a seat reservation.
If you book Off-Peak or Anytime tickets you can transfer them to a different departure.

National Rail *

National Rail Guide

In Great Britain each Train Operating Company provides its own booking service for journeys by its trains, but many of their websites also sell tickets for nationwide journeys, regardless of which company operates the trains on the routes you wish to travel by.

The National Rail website is plugged into all of the train operator's booking services, so when more than one of these companies offers tickets for a route, it in effect offers a price comparison service.
It isn't a ticket agent, so you will be connected to the website of your choice in order to make a booking.

Rail Europe *

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - YesCoastal views

Good to Know

If when you board, you discover that your assigned seat(s) are on the right-hand side of the train, when facing the direction of travel, see if you can find available seats on the left of the train; the sea views on this journey are on the left.
If you move to a different seat(s) it won't affect the validity of your ticket.

If your ticket(s) don't include reserved seats, then try to choose seats on the left which face the direction of travel.

Between Motherwell and Carstairs Between Motherwell and Carstairs
Look out on the left near Dunbar for the view of the Bass Rock Look out on the left near Dunbar for the view of the Bass Rock
By the coast to the south of Dunbar By the coast to the south of Dunbar
Looking east from the Royal Border Bridge on a greyer day Looking east from the Royal Border Bridge on a greyer day
Heading south from Berwick Heading south from Berwick
Passing by the town of Alnmouth Passing by the town of Alnmouth
Arriving in Newcastle Arriving in Newcastle
Looking down on the River Tyne as the train departs Newcastle Looking down on the River Tyne as the train departs Newcastle
The stunning view over the city of Durham The stunning view over the city of Durham

For much of the train ride between Glasgow and  Leeds the railway lives up to its name of the 'The East Coast Mainline'.

This train journey has four distinct phases:

(1) Between Motherwell and Edinburgh much of the journey is through rolling Scottish farm land.

(2) Then between Edinburgh and Alnmouth the railway is often beside the coast.
The sea views kick in before the train has even left Edinburgh behind; and they initially continue until south of Dunbar.

To the north of Berwick-upon-Tweed the train will travel across the clifftops as it crosses the border into England, these are the most dramatic coastal views on the journey (though they are tricky to photograph).

Minutes after the train has passed through Berwick-upon-Tweed, the next highlight is the view from the majestic Royal Border Bridge.
Between there and Alnmouth there are views on the left over the dramatic Northumberland coast.

(3) Between Alnmouth and Darlington the railway snakes its way through the towns and cities of north-east England, and just before Newcastle station on the left there are views of the city's iconic Tyne Bridge.

The next highlight of the journey is the passage over the River Tyne, as the train departs from Newcastle Central station and heads over the King Edward VII Bridge.
Looking to the left, five other bridges that span the river can be seen.

Around 15 mins after leaving Newcastle comes the final highlight of the journey - the stunning views over the city of Durham.
Over on the left before and after the station, the town's stunning castle and cathedral can be clearly seen in all their glory.

(4) The train will attain the highest speeds of the journey as it races across the flat landscape between Darlington and York and then on to the outskirts of Leeds

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