‘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

Malcolm Ranieri

Sad to report the untimely death last week of SMJ Society member Malcolm Ranieri. Malcolm was well known for his excellent steam train photographs that have appeared for many years in the rail preservation press.  He was also one of the main…Continue

Started by Dick Bodily 11 hours ago.

Salvaged track bolts 1 Reply

Does any know if the bridges were numbered? Similar to how the canals number thier's. Because a few weeks ago I was magnet fishing under the if I bridge behind the bellebaulk housing estate in Towcester and pulled out a number of chair bolts and I…Continue

Started by John Godwin. Last reply by Dick Bodily Sep 28.

Planning Application for Binton Station Site 8 Replies

I've just been told by friends from Welford that there's a planning application to redevelop the Binton Station site:Binton Station Planning…Continue

Started by Simon Stevens. Last reply by Simon Stevens Sep 20.

Proposed conversion of numbers 5 and 6.

According to Dunn, the problems with the two BP tanks ns 5 and 6 running backwards were twice addressed with the idea of converting them to 2-4-2Ts, and that drawings were prepared on at least one occasion.Has anyone ever seen anything of these…Continue

Started by Simon Dunkley Jun 27.

Broom Junction station site for sale 1 Reply

Great opportunity for an SMJ enthusiast perhaps.  I'm not sure what you could actually do with this site though!…Continue

Started by Simon Stevens. Last reply by Simon Stevens May 17.

Ravenstone Wood as three way junction? 1 Reply

A close analysis of the 1945 RAF aerial photographs available in the historical imagery resource on Google Earth has provided evidence that Ravenstone Wood was probably a three-way junction during the latter part of WW2 and for an unknown period of…Continue

Started by Dave Hayward. Last reply by Robin Cullup Apr 15.

Need Site Help?

For those interested in the Train Simulator 2014 side of life... I've begun modelling the SMJ railway in the route creator/editor, using terrain from imported Google Earth and imagery of the line from the SMJ days. As you'd expect, the route is centred in Towcester, and will include the following:

 

- The Olney Branch as far as Olney (Inc. Rstone Wood jct)

- The Blisworth Branch

- The Banbury Branch as far as Helmdon

- The Woodford Branch as far as Blakesley (for now)

 

I expect that it will take me a majority of 2014 to finish this project, and I will post image updates as I complete major milestones of the route. I will include all intermediate stations along the route, including those that closed early on such as Salcey Forest and Tiffield Halt. If I complete the above stages in less time than I've planned, I will extend the Woodford Branch as far as Woodford Halse as opposed to Blakesley. I will also include every bridge, culvert, crossing and signal that is recorded in Bridge_Numbers document on the site.

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Hello Richard,

This sounds like an exciting project!

We shall watch your progress with keen interest!

Peter

I've been looking to upload photos, but I've been having difficulty with screenshots. Towcester station area as far as GN Junction complete already. Olney Branch is underway now, Blisworth branch to follow afterwards. As soon as I have pictures I will share them on here, looking good already!

 

Richard

That is a great bit of work there.

Hello Richard,

I'm a new member to the site and just came across this in a search of the site for info on Easton Neston quarry - I've embarked on something similar myself in TS 2017 - hadn't come across anything to suggest that anyone else had an SMJ project on the go!

It sounds like a fantastic project - were you aiming, or would you be interested, in sharing with a wider audience as you progress?

Like yourself, the SMJ component of my project encompasses Towcester - Blisworth and Towcester - Ravenstone Wood Jcn (and then onward!)

Would you consider giving some input into a few gaps in my knowledge that have become apparent already? I have the gradient profiles for Northampton - RW Jcn - Bedford (and much else Midland!) but nothing for the SMJ (It may be on here somewhere but if so I've not found it yet).

Mileages - a logical "Milepost zero" for the SMJ system would be Towcester SB, but I've not yet found anything to confirm or deny this hypothesis. Have you any gen. on where mileages were reckoned from? Similarly, as some of the infrastructure seems to be of Midland design, MR style mileposts would be believable - again, haven't been able to confirm or deny.

By the way,I just unearthed Eric Tonks' "Ironstone quarries of the Midlands" volume 3, covering the area, in occasionally forensic detail - ISBN 1-870754-03-4: it seems to be a valuable resource as regards the industrial activity of the area. You're probably aware of this, but if not, the above will track it down.

Thanks in anticipation, and best wishes for your continued progress

Dave Clipston

Hello Dave, as far as mileages and mileposts go, the only certainty is that Blisworth Station was used as "Milepost Zero" for the line to Towcester. There are 2 mileposts still standing in the Tiffield area, one TWO MILE and one (TWO AND A) QUARTER MILE concrete posts. These replicate the mileages given in the bridge numbers index for that section. This index also implies that mileages were taken from the junctions i.e. Ravenstone Wood and Greens Norton, but I wouldn't  rely on this.

Nigel.

Hi Richard,

I shall also look forward to seeing everything you do.

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