Stepford County Railway Wiki
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SCR network map for V1.4-V1.5

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 Transport For Stepford, which manages all stations on the network as of Version 1.9, keeps services flowing smoothly, and assists staff members in train traffic control. Parts of the network were owned by Network Rail in versions prior to 1.9, however all sections are now owned by Transport For Stepford.

As of February 2022, the SCR network has 62 stations in full operation, spread across four lines. There are 60 routes in which trains run on, with more routes being put into service in the near future.

Timeline

Main article: Timeline of Events
Main article: Changelog

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 under-detailed with Stepford Connect being the first and only operator. The only route and train was 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 2018 was very stagnant.

On the 21st of April 2018 the biggest update yet fittingly called The Big Update completely changed the foundation that SCR was built upon. With it, SCR left the Beta stage and entered Version 1.0. Version 1.1 introduced 13 new stations, as well as a new operator; AirLink, which held its grand opening on New Year's Eve 2018. AirLink carries passengers between Stepford Central and Stepford Airport Central in under 10 minutes, which is fast compared to 15 minutes via Stepford Connect. About a month later in February 2019 Terminals 1, 2, and 3 were added. In late April 2019 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 2019 Version 1.3 was released, introducing the Class 158 and Class 508, the first trains to have proper interiors and working doors. Throughout the year more and more of the trains were upgraded to Next Generation. In mid-December 2019 Version 1.4 was released, which added a new operator, Stepford Express, and an extension to Llyn-by-the-Sea containing eight new stations. In May 2020 Version 1.5 was released, adding the Guard role, as well as new liveries for Stepford Connect and Waterline. At the end of May 2020 a sneak-peek was released showing that SCR was changing its logo. In June 2020 Version 1.6 was released, adding an extension to Willowfield for Stepford Connect, along with the Morganstown Shuttle route on Waterline. Both Waterline and Stepford Connects' fleets were fully rebranded, and a few stations were upgraded. In October 2020 Version 1.7 was released, rebranding Stepford Express, renovating stations, rebuilding Class 801, and reworking the manual signalling system. It also extended Stepford Express to Morganstown, put Upper Staploe back into service, and brought new uniforms. In December 2021, more than a year later, Version 1.8 was released. It introduced a refresh to Stepford Connect's stopping pattern, a train delay propagation system, seating prompts, the Class 444, a Stepford Connect extension to Leighton West, and lots of station overhauls mostly around the Whitefield branch and Leighton Zone. It also added a custom streaming system with Roblox's built-in part-streaming system, a section-based signalling, junction, and platform system, and a new announcement voice for Waterline, AirLink, Stepford Express, and the stations. In May 2022, half a year later, Version 1.9 was released. It added 4 new Stepford Express routes starting from Newry Harbour, Newry, and Benton to Llyn-by-the-Sea and Leighton via the Waterline tracks and the Morganstown flyover.

Operations

Jobs

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 must rank up by going through training sessions and application processes to be able to dispatch, guard, and signal. Supervisors+ supervise their corresponding member rank to ensure that they are working in a proper manner.

Train Identification

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 more efficiently to solve problems and avoid delays.

Safety Measures

In order to avoid collisions between trains, SCR operates with over 800 fully functional 4-aspect signals (over 315 signals added in the Llyn extension). Some signals can be controlled by Signallers. A great majority of these signals are also fitted with an aspect that 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 able to stop completely if the next signal is danger. 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. 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 acknowledge the warning within six seconds. If 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 which stops the train immediately.

In the Version 1.1 update, a 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 signal indicator was installed on the driver's HUD, which tells the driver what the next signal will be. In February 2020, with the release of Version 1.4.1, new shunt signals were introduced at Faymere Green TMD. 2 white lights mean proceed and 2 red mean stop.

Although SCR uses an advanced signalling system, collisions still occur, mostly at the Beechley Triangle, near Beechley, City Hospital and Financial Quarter. When a collision happens, the two trains involved merge together.

Criticism

Stepford County Railway like most other ROBLOX experiences is met with a considerable amount of criticism, mainly surrounding its development, gameplay, management, and community. Major criticism includes:

Current Criticism

  • Poor development priority, in which developers are often said to keep on adding small, unimportant or unwanted features rather than prioritising important updates that the community wants, or optimise the gameplay and performance before adding more stuff.
  • Being very laggy because the experience's script is not written to handle devices that don't have high amounts of RAM. This has become a major priority for development, and was improved massively in recent years.
  • Bad update cycle where a feature is sneak-peeked, and the community then blamed for rumours and a feature being delayed.
  • Silencing players' views, and a moderation system which some say resembles a dictatorship.
  • 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.
  • Favouritism within the management team. One example is the controversy during early 2021 when the new Engagement Managers were picked. This caused Supervisors to resign from their positions, and it could be a factor that led the former OD, hv9690, to resign. It has caused a number of riots, and once led to the Discord server being on lockdown.
  • Failing to address concerns of players, or introducing new policies to operations without listening to members' suggestions.
  • Having poor community management, leading to criticism of some players labelling the game's community to be toxic or immature.
  • Content creators making SCR-related content criticise the management for failing to reward and encourage them to make more content, and say that SCR is just using them for free advertisement.
    • Similarly, content creators often make videos surrounding sneak peeks, primarily reviewing the previewed content. Often times, such videos are uploaded mere minutes after the sneak peek's release. This has received some criticism as a way of 'view-farming', as some people in the community believe these creators put little to no effort into the video production.
  • Updates are criticised for being buggy when released, mainly due to the low amount of testers to find bugs, being restricted to the Management team. Examples include:
    • In the V1.7.1 update, the newly added PISes on trains faced issues and bugs in displaying station information.
    • In the V1.7.4 update, the new mesh Turbostars had missing door animations.
    • In the V1.8.4 update, despite the update being primarily a bug-fix oriented update, the update probably caused more bugs than it was intended to fix, with menu button failures, the guard panel not appearing when guarding a train, and maps simply not functioning, among other regressions. These were fixed later that same day.
  • Some players have criticised recent updates of SCR to be unrealistic, unneeded or unjustified, for instance:
    • In the V1.7 update, the new Benton Bridge was criticised for being too steep hence unrealistic.
    • Certain scenery and station updates, such as Leighton City's second revamp, have been criticised for being unnecessary as their previous state were perfectly fine and the revamped ones lack legacy to it. Such criticism also applied to some cosmetic updates of the game, such as the 2nd locomotive livery update for the Class 68 and the new Network Map in V1.9, for their revamped design to be significantly worse than original.
    • In the V1.9 update, the extension of Stepford Express to Newry Zone was criticised by some players to be unreasonable and poorly planned, only leading to unnecessary congestion to the line.

Previous Criticism

  • Before V1.0, admins ran the servers. Many players criticised them as they were very strict. They would kick users 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 had accused Tramlink of being vaporware. As of V1.7 most TramLink stations have been demolished and 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 SCR developers were criticised for never listening to its players about changes that they make to the experience, or players' suggestions towards its 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. This was still seen on Waterline, notably on the Connolly Branch, until the v1.8 update overhauled its scenery.
  • Before Version 1.4 was released, SCR came under fire for letting the entire Llyn Extension be leaked. Eventually, the SCR Beta Tester programme was terminated to stop the leaks.
  • In the past, laggy trains at platforms 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 especially dispatchers as this prevented them from performing their job properly. Seating prompts were introduced in V1.8 to avoid glitching players on the platform into the train.
  • SCR was also criticised for stealing sounds from Armstrong Powerhouse, which can be heard on the looping Class 465 sounds. This is slowly changing however, as more trains are having their sound overhauled.
  • 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, indicating that he may have given SCR permission to use the models. Since then SCR has developed its own train models, exceeding what yrrebRBLX had created previously.
  • Some Signallers have complained about not receiving any points or experience while signalling since the release of Version 1.8. They criticise the developers for taking unnecessarily long to fix this.
  • Upon V1.8's release, multiple signals on the line faced bugs making them remain at danger irreversibly, causing major disruptions to operations. When this bug occurs on busy sections of the line, all traffic will be stalled eventually and services are unable to operate. The server will then become unplayable and forced to shutdown. This lasted for more than five months before finally being fixed in 1.9.
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