View Full Version : Downline / Upline ???

07-05-2012, 11:47 AM
I'm totally new to rail modelling hence the naieveness of this question but I hear refrences to upline and downline and wondered what this was refering to.
It can't be the fact that a line is running North/South when as many lines run East/West.
Would it be something to do with the proximity to a station ?

Perhaps someone can enlighten me. :o:o

07-05-2012, 11:59 AM
Hi Tiger, this question was answered in another forum. they stated that the line going to London is the upline and the line going away from london is the downline. It is something to do with the protocol of the railways I believe. However it was stated, like you have done, that a lot of lines go East to West, and I do not remember the actual answer for this.

Rog (RJ)
07-05-2012, 12:05 PM
Generally lines to London are up-lines, lines away from London are down-lines. I believe on other lines which don't start or end at London usually have the up-line specified as running towards the main station on the line. There are probably lots of exceptions to this general rule.

07-05-2012, 12:05 PM
Welcome to the forum.
Albert is correct re up = to / down = from London.
But there are many exceptions to this.

Main thing to remember is that in the main the UK railways drive on the left exactly like the road vehicles do. But even that has occasional exceptions where bi-directional signalling operation is allowed.

07-05-2012, 12:43 PM
Thanks for that guys and for the welcome. I did put "downline" into the search box but it came up "no results".
I'm always hesitant to start new threads if I can find my answers already somewhere.

Forgive me if I ask a few more dumb questions like that.

Cheers, Steve

07-05-2012, 12:51 PM
No problem Steve, we are here to help each other so ask away. Also welcome to the forum I missed it last time.


07-05-2012, 08:48 PM
As noted the up line generally goes to London, however, before the big four, 'up' was generally recognised to be towards the headquarters of the railway company and in some cases I believe this still happens to be true.

In terms of railway operation it makes no real difference, it is simply a way of identifying lines and directions easily.

In the case of 'loop' lines, the up and down lines may switch, this is usually at the site of a junction (either current or past), where an 'Up line joins a 'down' line (or vice versa). A good current example of this is at Sutton (Surrey) where the 'Down Wimbledon' (from Wimbledon) converges with the 'Up Portsmouth' (from Leatherhead and beyond) and the 'Up Wimbledon' diverges from the 'Down Portsmouth'.