‘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

NEW BOOK ON THE SMJ - AVAILABLE SHORTLY 24 Replies

Hi allI'm pleased to announce that the first volume of my history of…Continue

Started by Barry Taylor. Last reply by John Evans Dec 1.

John Jennings

Following the sad loss of John Jennings, a stalwart of the SMJ and our society, Mike Musson set up a page on his site. The whole sit is well worth a visit as it overlaps with us here at the SMJ society     Go take a look…Continue

Started by Andy Thompson Nov 28.

The SMJR Great War Roll of Honour 12 Replies

Many of you will be aware that in common with all other railway companies the SMJR lost many of its employees for all or part of the Great War as the patriotic duty to volunteer was overwhelming.  Railwaymen were technically exempt but many chose to…Continue

Tags: of, Honour, Roll, War, SMJR

Started by John Jennings. Last reply by Jim Brown Nov 23.

Warley Poster

Interesting to see Broom Junction layout photo on posters and adverts for the Warley Model Railway Show this weekend.Continue

Started by Dick Bodily Nov 21.

SMJ photos

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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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