‘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

MORTON PINKNEY LEVEL CROSSING 10 Replies

There was a public level crossing between Blakesley and Morton Pinkney, complete with a gatehouse.Does anyone know how this was operated?Presumably the gates must have been manual and kept closed against road traffic.Early Working Timetables mention…Continue

Started by Barry Taylor. Last reply by Ian Merivale 23 hours ago.

SMJ rides again? Broom to Stratford Greenway Proposal

From Bidford on Avon Parish council comes news of the Avon and Arrow Greenway Project whose latest newsletter is here: August 2020 AAGP…Continue

Started by Simon Stevens on Monday.

Bidford-on-Avon station photos 2 Replies

Hello folks - I'm interested in sourcing any historical photos of Bidford-on-Avon station and wondering if anyone here could help point me in the right direction? (There are a few on…Continue

Started by Greg Wye. Last reply by Greg Wye Aug 30.

Stored coaches 4 Replies

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…Continue

Started by Alan Brant. Last reply by Ian Mathews Aug 16.

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Blisworth

 

 

 

Blisworth
Towcester
Wappenham
Helmdon
Banbury



In 1833 Robert Stephenson was appointed chief engineer of the the first railway into London, the London & Birmingham line. One of the most difficult sections was to be at Blisworth. Stephenson had to cut his way through1.5 miles of rock. Underneath the top layer of stone was a layer of clay, under which was found large amounts of water. Steam engines were used to pump out the water While this was going on, 800 men were busy digging and blasting and by the time the cutting was finished, over 3,000 barrels of gunpowder had been used. It was calculated that over a million cubic yards of material was dug out at Blisworth Cutting.


The London and Birmingham Railway, under Robert Stephenson, bypassed Northamptonshire’s capital town, Northampton due to the limitations of the technology of the day over the counties inclines.

The company first opened a station at Blisworth in 1839. In 1842, a new "first class" station was planned. 'First Class' meant, ‘all trains would stop there’, Ford Lane, Blisworth became Station Road and the location of Blisworth station. Blisworth became a junction station when in 1845 a branch line on to Peterborough was completed via Northampton, and in 1866 a single-track, 4 mile branch line was built to Towcester with grand ideas to run onto South Wales. Starting as the Northampton and Banbury Junction Railway, this short branch was to become the SMJ.


Blisworth station closed in January 1960 and today both branches lines have also long since gone. The ‘Walnut Tree Inn’, formerly the Blisworth Hotel, the station hotel remains and over-sees what once was Blisworth station.

The main railway line is now part of the West Coast Main Line, having been electrified in the 60s.


An 8F at Blisworth 1964



Click here to see more Blisworth photos


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Find more photos like this on "The Unofficial SMJ Society" at www.smj.me

Find more photos like this on "The Unofficial SMJ Society" at www.smj.me

 

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