What had been a generally hourly service of direct trains has recently been restored on this route.
Final Destination: Bournemouth
All trains also call at: Winchester; Southampton Airport Parkway and Southampton
1 x train per hour
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 in usual circumstances are:
(1) Your ticket(s) will only be valid on the departure you selected when making a booking.
(2) But when travelling by CrossCountry trains, you can amend your ticket free of charge, regardless of when it was booked and when you will be travelling from 2 hours after purchase and up to 15 minutes before your train is due to depart, as long as the stations are the same.
(3) If the train you are booked on is delayed, you cannot then just hop on an alternative train operated by a different company.
Finding a late deal
CrossCountry atypically offers the ability to book Advance tickets until up to 15 minutes before departure.
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.
Potential changes to ticket booking
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.
It can be worth checking traffic updates on the CrossCountry website.
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Some of the trains which used to travel at Bournemouth at being terminated at Reading on the current timetable, but it's worth targeting the remaining direct trains.
In the hours when the direct trains aren't available connections are required at both Reading and Basingstoke.
Much of this journey through the middle of the south of the country showcases that England is indeed a green and pleasant land particularly once the train has passed, but the train won't pass through any outstanding landscapes.
The one highlight comes towards journey's end after Southampton when the railway passes through The New Forest national park, if you're lucky you may catch a glimpse of the wild ponies.
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This is one of more than 100 train travel guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.