Chester is a beautiful town served by a lovely station which, thanks to a very well executed renovation and improvement scheme completed in 2010, as part of the Chester Renaissance Project, has never been so easy to use.
Its 1848 character has been preserved, hence it being one of the 22 currently operated stations in England which are listed at Grade I or Grade II on England's National Heritage List.
Chester is a station of two parts; it's entrance hall is linked to platform's tracks 1, 2 and 3, but platforms 4 to 7 are separate from the main station building and linked to it by a footbridge.
When passing trough the ticket gates platform/track 3 will be immediately in front of you, but because it is long, it is divided into three sections, 3a, 3b and 3c and trains open depart from these specific parts of this platform.
So you may have to walk further along platform 3 to its a or c sections in order to wait for and board your train.
The steps to the right, on the other side of the ticket gates, lead to platforms 4 to 7, which are all grouped together on the other side of the station.
However, you don't have to use the steps up to the footbridge which connects them to the station concourse.
There is a somewhat hidden lift/elevator available; to find it turn to the right once you're on platform 3, as it's tucked into an alcove under the footbridge, so you need to go right again and it will then be in front of you.
On the other side of the bridge another lift/elevator will take you down to platforms/tracks 4 to 7.
There are heated waiting rooms available on platforms 4 to 7.
(99.99% of the images used on ShowMeTheJourney were captured during our travels, but this image was taken by Tanya Dedyukhina and downloaded from Wikicommons.
Platforms, 1, 2 and 3, which is where the trains from London typically arrive, are on the same level as the station concourse, but if your train arrives at platforms 4 to 7, you will need to use the footbridge in order to exit the station.
You don't have to use either of the two staircases as a hidden, but well sign-posted, lift/elevator is available; you'll find it in the modern looking waiting room which is in the middle of this island of platforms.
On the other side of the footbridge another lift/elevator will take you down to an area just off platform 3, walk ahead on to the platform and then turn to the left; a matter of steps away you will find the ticket gates.
As Chester is a walled medieval city, the at times reckless Victorian railway engineers, evidently decided to take a conservative approach to how trains could be taken to/from the city, so they used some spare land some distance from the central area, presumably to avoid having to demolish anything recorded in the history books.
As a consequence there's no getting away from the fact that Chester station has a somewhat inconvenient location.
The pedestrian route involves heading off down City Road, but it takes 15-30 mins to reach the Eastgate Clock in the heart of the city; and the route isn't particularly straightforward because at the other end of City Road is a busy traffic junction, which is best crossed by using an underpass passage way.
The only public transport option is to take the City Link Bus, route/line 40, which stops just outside the station entrance on the opposite side of the street.
It operates a circular one way route, so before the city centre it heads to the bus station and then stops in the central area on Foregate Street.
This is its only stop in the city centre, so when heading to the station you need to board the bus here.
The bus departs every 15 mins and the fare/cost is £1.
To Chester Zoo
The easiest route to Chester Zoo from Chester station is to take the route/line 40 to the Chester Bus Interchange and the connect there for 'gold' routes/line 1 or 1X.
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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.