The Railyard

Review Breakdown

Social Experience
Social Areas
Your Room
Value for Money
Internet / WiFi


The Railyard is one of the more expensive accommodation options when studying at Anglia Ruskin University so there are high expectations. It is located next to Cambridge train station and overlooks a bus road. This means that there is easy access to visit home or the local country. However, it also means that it is noisy, in particular from the trains and train announcements, which can be difficult. It is about a 25 minute walk from the university and about 30 minutes from the town centre. There are two local mini supermarkets within a 5 minute walk from the accommodation and a selection of local restaurants, cafes and pubs. Cambridge is a city full of buses and bikes, however I was unaware when moving in that actually there are no buses departing from the station to the university itself, it is actually quite difficult to use the buses to get there from the accommodation. This means walking is more or less the only form of transport, other than cycling, and should be considered for the 20/25 minute walk. The Railyard campus is split into 3 different buildings Stephenson, Telford and Brunel, where Stephenson is the largest and has the reception and gym in it. They are then sectioned into blocks of up to 5 floors, where studio flats are mixed with shared flats. I am in Stephenson. The communal areas such as the corridors and lift are regularly cleaned and are rarely ever dirty. The bin store is emptied reasonably frequently however, often there is an overflow - usually students not bothering to put rubbish in the correct bins. The gym is clean and a great FREE feature of the accommodation. The laundry room is often quite untidy and students leave their laundry in the washing machines and dryers long after the cycles have stopped, which means there are usually usable machines that are made unusable by this. The shared flats are located between two studio flats that share a little corridor. When I arrived in my flat I was informed there had been a leak and the carpet had been pulled up and the kitchen/lounge walls needed to be repainted. After 9 weeks at the accommodation they still have not come to fix these issues, which means the flat is really dirty looking. Other maintainence issues are generally well accommodated and sorted within a couple of weeks. The communal kitchen/lounge is well equipped with microwave, kettle, toaster, oven, fridge, tv, dining table and sofas. The toaster and microwave were in reasonable condition when I arrived. However, the oven was incredibly dirty internally and was faulty so didn't heat up to cook food. The sofas were in bad condition too - they were very grotty and covered in stains which is very offputting and unacceptable when the fee is expensive. The common room in the Railyard has been pretty much unusable since I moved in, with sofas overturned and covered up and other aspects unable to be used. The facilities in here were not how I expected them to be when I booked my room in the most pricey student accommodation, and it doesn't achieve good value for money for the condition I have experienced. My bedroom was very clean when I arrived and is very well organised and designed. But there were minor faults. On the contract it states that we cannot use candles or blu tac - my main wall is covered in blue tac stains and the desk is spotted with what appears to be hardened candle wax. This isn't a problem to the condition of the flat, but for the cost of the room it should have been fixed prior to moving in. As my room overlooks the railway, the noise is very loud and can be heard throughout the day and night even when the window is closed. This means it is not really possible to have the window open when trying to study in there, it's just something I wish I knew before moving in. Obviously it is a student accommodation so noise of music and partying is expected. However, I frequently have the smell of smoke (not sure if coming from the station platforms or surrounding flats) coming into my room through the air vent which I was told by maintainence cannot be fixed. As such my room and belongings often smell of smoke, which is unacceptable. The storage in the room is great; the wardrobe is large, and even more so the entire space under the bed can be used. The bedroom appears as very lovely and is comfortable to live in, but it perhaps lacks refining. Wifi is provided, but is often slow and unreliable, and sometimes seems to cut off temporarily late at night. The Railyard buildings are located opposite/next door to the CB1 accommodation buildings. For the most part, the Railyard is the quieter of the two student accommodation campuses in terms of social gathering and partying into the night. However the Railyard still has great a social hub, both as flat parties and through the social events set up by the staff. Overall, it is a very modern and appealing place to live in terms of decor and usefulness, but it can also be quite difficult with the noise and inability to use public transport. I feel that although it is incredibly useful for the costs of utilities to be included in the rental price, the main issue is that it doesn't exactly meet the value I paid for. Compared to other on campus residences the Railyard is definitely worth investing in though.

Rooms at the railyard are very spacious and allow for a good amount of room for stuff but also to move around and not feel claustrophobic. Kitchen and en suite facilities are good and if maintenance is needed the team are always happy to assist. Laundry facilities aren't the best as they can often be very busy but other than that it is a good place to live.

The location is suitably close to the university, around 15-20 minute walk away. It is very close to he railway station and around a 10 minute walk into the town centre. The halls themselves are modern and spacious, however it is on the pricey side and a few things could benefit improved such as WiFi speeds and installing cheaper washing machines! The gym there is free and good, and reception are always very helpful. Nightlife is good in the town centre and for socialising in halls you cannot beat the Railyard! It is the party halls of ARU, however the easily accessible common room is nice. It contains a pool table, consoles etc. Overall a lovely place to stay, but a bit expensive.

Amazing halls, not the best customer service team but did the job. Close to the station and only a short walk to town. Spacious room, good kitchen and communal areas

Expensive but a fantastic place to live, really great location. Every room is ensuite, nice kitchen/sitting room with big TV. Laundry facilities, games room, 24/7 security, really helpful management staff.

Great accommodation and friendly people. Nice location and everything it was scary at first but now its great

Room is fab, ensuite Student location Close to anemities Local bus right outside Meet lots of new people