‘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

Burton Dassett Cableway

Please find attached a copy of the OS 6" map 1888 - 1913 series that illustrates the subject cable-way (called a tramway on the map) and also the Burton Dassett sidings. This cable-way is mentioned by Arthur Jordan in hos book on the SMJ at pp45, he…Continue

Started by Dave Hayward yesterday.

Banbury Merton Road Shed and Britannia Works Tramway 8 Replies

By any chance does anybody have a reasonable photograph of Banbury Merton Road Loco Shed? If so I would like to include into some private research I am intending to share with a small informal group of enthusiasts, it would be greatly…Continue

Started by Dave Hayward. Last reply by Colin Franklin Dec 30, 2020.

Michael Mccarthy 2 Replies

I too have received this unusual email, I would think that it a scam. This is the second time I have received it and will always delete it.Continue

Started by Paul Loveday. Last reply by Nicholas Hemming Dec 30, 2020.


Like others I have received the same scam message, my strong advice is delete it immediately and clear it from your 'recycled bin'. It will either directly contain a virus or a link that tries to get your money one way or another.Dave HaywardContinue

Started by Dave Hayward Dec 24, 2020.

SMJ photos

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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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