The Stepford County Railway, more commonly referred to as SCR, is a heavy rail system that serves as the primary rail network for Stepford County, spanning most of the county and other regions. The first section of the SCR opened on 25 November 2017, and the network has grown rapidly since then to link various districts and areas.
The SCR network is owned by Network Rail and Transport For Stepford, which manages most stations on the network as of Version 1.7. keeps services flowing smoothly, and assists staff members in train traffic control.
As of October 2020, the SCR network has 61 stations in full operation, spread across four lines. There are 51 routes in which trains run on, with more routes being put into service in the near future.
The founder, Charlie_RBX (then named MAGICMOVIESTEAM1) , opened up SCR to the public on the 25th of November 2017. Charlie is legally blind so his friend, BanTech became the main developer for SCR. The network at the time was very small and underdetailed with Stepford Connect being the first and only operator. The only route and train were Stepford Central (named Stepford Town at the time) <> Port Benton and the Class 700, respectively. Later that year, Stepford Connect spread its services to the suburbs of Benton. This sub-operator was named WaterLine due to its close proximity to the River Ben along its Port Benton - Greenslade section. The development of SCR between late 2017 and April of 2018 was very stagnant. On the 21st of April, the biggest update yet, called The Big Update, changed the complete foundation and fabric that the system of SCR was built upon. From this point forward, it is noteworthy that SCR, as a game, has ascended out of the Beta stage and is now in Version 1.0. Version 1.1 introduced 13 new stations to SCR, as well as a new operator; AirLink, which held its grand opening on New Year's Eve of 2018. AirLink now carries passengers between Stepford Central and Stepford Airport Central in just under 10 minutes, compared to 15 minutes via Stepford Connect. About a month later, in February 2019, Terminals 1, 2 and 3 were added. At the end of April, Version 1.2 was released, adding 6 new stations, 4 of which were made by Mattyx2013, the new Operations Director (now former PDV). In mid-May, Version 1.3 was released with the new Class 158 and Class 508, the first trains to have proper interiors and working doors. Throughout the year, more and more of the trains on the network were upgraded to Next Generation. In mid-December, Version 1.4 was released, which included a new operator, Stepford Express and also the new extension to Llyn-by-the-Sea, made up of eight new stations. In May 2020, Version 1.5 was released with a new role, Guard, and this update introduced brand new liveries for Stepford Connect and Waterline. At the end of May, a sneak-peek showed that SCR is changing its logo. Version 1.6 was released in June 2020 with a new extension to Willowfield on Stepford Connect, along with the Morganstown Shuttle on Waterline. A full rebrand has been made to those two operators' fleets, and some existing stations have been upgraded. In October 2020, Version 1.7 was released and brought the Stepford Express rebrand and extension to Morganstown, rebuilt Class 801, Upper Staploe being put back into service, renovated stations, new uniforms, and a redo of the manual signalling system.
The main part of the railway is driving. It would however not be complete without Dispatchers, Guards and Signallers controlling the network. Everyone in SCR starts as a Trainee Driver after joining the group, and ranks up the roles to be able to dispatch, guard and signal by going through training sessions and application processes. Supervisors+ supervise their corresponding Members to ensure that they are working in a proper manner.
Before The Big Update, the railway solely relied on the numbering of the trains to identify them (e.g. 357001, 707028), until SCR implemented the Headcode system. This new identification system allows dispatchers, guards and signallers to communicate information regarding trains more efficiently, and also solve problems and delays.
In order to avoid collisions between trains, SCR operates with over 800 fully functional 4-aspect signals (more than 315 signals added after the Llyn extension). The signals can be controlled by Signallers. A great majority of these signals are also fitted with another aspect that simultaneously lights up when the signal is at amber. This aspect shows a white "45," which advises drivers to drive at 45 miles per hour, which is the optimal speed to be at for a train to brake for a potential danger aspect. However, in order to drive effectively, drivers need a system to notify them of the next signal’s state. The Automatic Warning System (AWS) takes care of this issue. When the AWS recognizes a non-Proceed signal ahead, a yellow circle with an exclamation mark appears on the train driver's HUD, alongside with a loud beep sound. This tells the driver to slow down and prepare for a stop. The driver must click it or press Q on their keyboard to accept the warning within six seconds. When the driver fails to acknowledge the warning or stop before passing a signal at Danger/red, the Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS) triggers an emergency brake for the train to forcefully stop the train.
In the Version 1.1 update, a new speed limit indicator was installed on the driver's HUD, which relays the speed limit to the driver of the train on the section of track they are driving on.
About 2 months later, a new signal indicator was installed on the driver's HUD, which tells the driver what the next signal will be.
Although SCR uses an advanced signalling system, collisions still occur, mostly at the City Hospital Triangle, near the station of City Hospital. When a collision happens, the two trains involved merge together.
Stepford County Railway, like most other ROBLOX games, is met with a considerable amount of criticism, including:
- Before 1.0, admins ran the servers. Many players criticised them as they were very strict. They would kick you for petty reasons such as skipping a station, not setting your destination properly, and more. At one point in a very early version, they had forbidden users to drive a train to Port Benton even though the station was open.
- Some have accused TramLink of being vapourware. As of V1.7, since most TramLink stations have been demolished, plus part of its tracks are covered with weeds. Tramlink was officially cancelled in a Q&A with various SCR devs in late 2020.
- In its early days, the devs were criticised for never listening to its players about changes that they make to the game, or players' suggestions towards the game's development. This has been improved however, with a recent poll deciding the final extension of SCR in January 2021. It has been further improved with the addition of a new #suggestions channel in the SCR Official Discord, bringing back suggesting ideas.
- In the past, SCR was often criticised for its very bad quality scenery and decal spam. This is becoming less and less prevalent since the end of 2019 with the rebrands, renovations, and rebuilds of existing trains and stations, which improved most of the bad scenery and decal spam on trains. However, this can still be seen on Waterline, especially on the Connolly Branch, which has barely any scenery outside of Connolly station itself.
- SCR is often criticised for being a very laggy game because the script of the game is not written to handle devices that don't have high amounts of RAM. This has since become a major priority for SCR, and it is expected to improve in 2021.
- Before Version 1.4 was released, SCR came under fire for letting the entire Llyn Extension being leaked. Eventually, the SCR Beta Tester programme was terminated to stop the leaks.
- With many updates, SCR has been criticised for an update cycle, where a feature is sneak-peaked, the community then blamed for rumours and a feature being delayed. This is part of a photo that is posted by people on general social medias.
- For its moderation system, SCR is often criticised for banning/kicking/warning players without good reason. Although heavily disputed, multiple members were speculated to have had their promotions revoked as they were accused of leaking information to outside sources and subsequently banned or demoted without evidence. SCR denies this.
- Some trains (if laggy) either fling players next to them all over the station or even out of the station and far away, or glitches players that are standing on the platform into the train, which is annoying for players, especially dispatchers.
- SCR is also criticised for stealing sounds from Armstrong Powerhouse, which can be heard on the looping Class 465 sounds.
- SCR is also being criticised for favouritism within the management team, mainly when the new Engagement Managers were picked. This has caused Supervisors to resign their positions, and it could be a factor that led the last OD, hv9690, to resign. It has caused a number of riots and as a result, it led to the Discord server being on lockdown.
- The 1.7.1 update was criticised for being rushed and broken, such as doors opening on the wrong side, the inability to change ends at terminuses and the on board train information screen for being bugged. This has been fixed with the release of 1.7.1x.
- SCR is also criticised for silencing players' views, which many have said that it is run under a dictatorship.
- A lot of users criticised SCR for stealing models in its early days. Many trains were taken from yrrebRBLX and sold as game passes in SCR. However, yrrebRBLX later officially joined the SCR development, meaning that he may have given SCR permission to use the models. This has become outdated however, as SCR has since developed it's own train models, even exceeding what yrrebRBLX had created previously.