‘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"


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SMJ Forum

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SMJ photos

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This query arises from a discussion on another site (Disused Railway and Stations around Northamptonshire).

There has been recent reference to coaches stored on the SMJ and a statement in Bylines March 12th issue that there were over three hundred disused coaches stored on the SMJ. Does anyone have any details/records of these coaches. A general interest question not a detailed datasearch )

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Here is the original referenc apicture plus caption

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Hi Alan

I was the author of the article which mentioned the stored coaches on the SMJ. It raised some queries and discussion afterwards -

a) Were there really 300? - that info came from the 'Railway Observer' which was usually pretty reliable. The coaches stretched from the Horton bridge (saw them there myself) right through to a short distance from the M1 bridge. It might be worth calculating how many average sized coaches could actually be kept in that distance - might prove or disprove it.

b) Were they all there at once - or were they added to / removed over the period? Opinion seems to be that they were added and then removed gradually, but not swopped about during their stay.

c) How were they worked on to and off the branch - and how many train loads? Obviously via Ravenstone Wood but the locos must have run round the stock at the junction - or was it Olney or Piddington? My info based on one photo is trains of twenty coaches double-headed by 2 x 8F 2-8-0s

d) and your own query - has anyone got a list? Norman Oldfield at Piddington station tells me that the late Richard Casserley did walk the length and at least note them - and photographed some. But where his records are now is anyone's guess - his negatives / photos are being sold individually on ebay at the moment so...........??

Barry 

Thanks for your response.

A quick check counting kilometre square shows the distanvce to be approx

4km (2,5 miles). 300 60ft coaches is 18000 ft or 3.5 miles (approx). I guess therefore they were moved in and out (in batches.)

My memory is that since you original article there has been at least one further mention in bylines - but i cannot find the reference and I guess my recollection is wrong,

My interest in a list was just to see what records existed of such dumps.

Terrible that Richard Casserley's negatives are being dispersed  - should be at York or similar .

thank you for all you articles in the Irwell publications - always enjoyed 

ve or disprove it.

b) Were they all there at once - or were they added to / removed over the period? Opinion seems to be that they were added and then removed gradually, but not swopped about during their stay.

c) How were they worked on to and off the branch - and how many train loads? Obviously via Ravenstone Wood but the locos must have run round the stock at the junction - or was it Olney or Piddington? My info based on one photo is trains of twenty coaches double-headed by 2 x 8F 2-8-0s

d) and your own query - has anyone got a list? Norman Oldfield at Piddington station tells me that the late Richard Casserley did walk the length and at least note them - and photographed some. But where his records are now is anyone's guess - his negatives / photos are being sold individually on ebay at the moment so...........??

There are photos of LNWR twelve wheeled West Coast stock on the railway bridge over the Wootton Road near to Quinton Green. I’ve spoken to a number of people who remember the section of line between Quinton Green and Salcey Forest being used to store condemned coaching stock including a member of the LNWRS executive committee who in fact visited the line and explored the stock with his father when he was about 12. Also some neighbours in Piddington village who as kids used to play in the carriages and use the carriage windows as target practice for sling shots! 

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