A SPAD (abbreviated from Signal Passed At Danger) refers to the situation that a train passes through a red signal, which is highly discouraged and against the rules at Stepford County Railway. Someone committing a SPAD is called a SPADer and the word that people use to talk about it is SPADing.
A SPAD is caused when someone crosses a Danger (red) signal, hence the name. SPADers tend to do this when they either are distracted or because of excessive approach speed, or wanting to get priority at stations.
The game is designed to detect a SPAD and apply the offending train's emergency brake for twenty seconds. If too many signals are passed at danger, the driver will be ejected and the service will be terminated, so they cannot complete their route. This prevents the offender from gaining experience and points. If a SPAD incident occurs during a Qualified Driver training, the trainee will automatically fail, and a player could potentially receive a demotion for SPADing repeatedly or intentionally.
Also, when a Signaller or a Supervisor is in the game server, they may respawn trains that are driving poorly. It is not advisable to continue to SPAD all the time as Signallers and Supervisors may take action against you.
To avoid SPADs, drivers should follow speed limits and approach red signals slowly, always prepared to stop. In high-risk areas such as the Beechley Triangle, signals are permanently set to caution so that drivers approach slowly- use this knowledge to your advantage while driving and be extra cautious around high-risk areas. The next signal GUI will always be there to help you just in case you ever forget the signal aspect, as well as the AWS providing a last minute warning. Poor driving drastically increases your SPAD risk and speeding or excessive approach speed can cause you to be unable to stop.
SCR has a speed limit of 45mph past caution signals and if you follow this speed limit you will be very unlikely to SPAD.
A SPAR (abbreviated from Signal Passed At Red) is similar to a SPAD, but it is not the driver’s fault. A signaller SPAR is when a signaller causes a SPAR, either due to a mistake or a signaller trolling. A technical SPAR is when a glitch causes a SPAR to occur, and a runaway SPAR is when a runaway train passes a signal at red.
For a SG to SPAR especially to troll is incredibly rare as SGs are intended to do their job at high standards.
- Sometimes SPADs occur even though a train's front wheels haven't even touched the treadle and the front of the train is multiple studs behind the signal.
- SPADs can also occur when a laggy driver passes a green or yellow signal with the train passing and then being stopped by an emergency brake when the signal automatically turns red.
- Sometimes, if two trains SPAD at the same time whilst leaving the same station in the same direction, the signaller cannot change any of the signals so the SPADed trains can't leave, therefore causing the SG to have to respawn one of the drivers and can cause major back-ups. An example of this is Platform 5C at Benton, where if a train is on the platform and another train arrives and SPADs, both trains will be stuck until one train despawns.