‘The Stratford Upon Avon & Midland Junction Railway’ (or S.M.J.) was a small independent railway company which ran a line across the empty, untouched centre of England. It visited the counties of Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire and a little of Buckinghamshire, only existing as the SMJ from 1909 to 1923. In 1923 the S.M.J.became a minor arm of the London Midland and Scottish (L.M.S.), then in 1948 'British Railways' 

Gone but not forgotten: "the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth"


SMJ Forum

Funny Story about Kineton Military Railway 1 Reply

An improbable, funny, but absolutely true story relating to the Kineton military railway.Long after my Army days I still retained an affection and passing interest in Kineton ammunition depot where I served during the 1960s. Coupled to a 'love' of…Continue

Started by Dave Hayward. Last reply by Dave Hayward Apr 28.

Blisworth - Towcester ETS working

Electric train staff equipment had been brought into use between Blisworth and Towcester by 9 August 1910 (date of SMJR minute 451 (TNA file RAIL 674/3)) and presumably the new signal box at Blisworth appeared at the same time. In that this was so…Continue

Started by Richard Maund Apr 20.

Blisworth 1920

SMJ board minute 1474 of 13 April 1921 (TNA file RAIL 674/4) approved that “the following expenditure be charged to Capital” for year 1920: “Blisworth: Signalling and alterations to Permanent Way, Improvements and additional signalling: £800”. In…Continue

Started by Richard Maund Apr 20.

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In MK Museum there is a map of the Wolverton Estate made in about 1850. On it is seen a railway line running from just south of Stony Stratford roughly in a ESE direction towards and over the West Coast main line. This line which clearly was never actually built must have been proposed as many railways that were never to exist were at the time. For instance the N & BJR originally planned an extension from Blisworth crossing the West Coast main line by a bridge then on to Northampton. What caught my attention is that this line is labelled on the map E & WJR. My knowledge of local proposed but never built railways is very limited so I'm interested to know did the E & WJR propose to build a line across North Bucks possibly to meet the GNR at some point as shown on the map?

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Hi Dick

This would be the proposed EWJR Hitchin extension for which plans were deposited on 30 November 1865 - actually well before the EWJR was even opened! However, no Act of Parliament was ever obtained for the line. So the plan that you saw is probably a little later than the 1850's.

The line was to run from a junction with the already authorised route of the EWJR near Towcester, across to Whittlebury, Cosgrove, and Wolverton, then onto Newport Pagnell, Cranfield, Steppingly and Flitwick, and continue through to Hitchin where it would join the GNR.

Connections were also to be made to the LNWR at Wolverton and the Midland Ry at Flitwick.

There were quite a few other plans for extensions to the EWJR over the years, particularly down towards Aylesbury to join the Metropolitan Railway. Only one got an Act but none of course was ever built.

Morton Pinkney might also have become a junction for similar proposals towards Aylesbury - there would have been a triangular junction just west of the station!

The plans for the Hitchin line (Deposited Plan No. 107) - and all of the others - can be seen at the Northamptonshire Record Office at Wotton Hall - well worth a visit. It is amazing just how many proposals were made for extensions to both the EWJR and NBJR, including both having a go at crossing the main line at Blisworth to get to Northampton.

Thanks Barry that's useful info,

So the map must have been made much later than 1850 which is strange because the Wolverton Estate ( which the map is titled) would have been the Radcliffe Estate by then. But come to think of it Wolverton station is shown on its second site south of Stratford Road Bridge so you must be right.   I'll have to have a good look at the map again as there were other railways crossing what is now MK..

Cheers Dick

A publication that lists all the proposed railways promoted by the East & West, Northampton & Banbury and successors is "Catalogue of Plans of Proposed Canals, Turnpike Roads, Railways and other Public Works etc" - this is complied by Philip Riden and published by the Northampton Record Office at £9.95. There is a wealth of detail in this book of all the railways dreamt up by the various promoters that would have traversed a part of Northamptonshire. Good for day dreaming of what might have been.....but doubtful whether any of these proposals would have been any more successful than what was built.

Robin Cullup

Thanks for info about publication, Robin.

For those interested, the book can be found by searching for the isbn 1898937435.

Also there is the deposited plan no.128 Towcester & Hitchin Railway, James B. Burke, Joseph F. Burke, engineers. Deposited 30th November. No act. From a junction with the authorised line of the East & West Junction Railway ( Act, 1864; plan 94) at Towcester; through Paulerspury, Whittlebury, Potterspury, Furtho, Cosgrove, Stony Stratford, Wolverton, Haversham, Stantonbury, Great Linford, Little Linford, Newport Pagnell, Cranfield, Flitwick, Pirton, terminating at Hitchin with the Great Northern Railway.

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