‘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 yesterday.

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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Burton Dassett/Edgehill Light Railway


 

 

 

The East & West Junction railway (E&W) proposed a new line from a junction with the Northampton & Banbury Junction Railway at Greens Norton to Stratford Upon Avon.
In 1864 Lady Palmerson came and cut the first sod.
The E&W became a part of the SMJ in January 1st, 1909.

 

Blakesley

Morton Pinkney

Woodford Halse

Byfield

Fenny Compton

BurtonDassett/Edgehill Light

Kineton

Ettington

Stratford Upon Avon

Binton

Bidford

Broom


The Edge Hill Light Railway was built to develop the large ironstone reserves which lay on the Northants / Oxfordshire border. The huge demands of Word War 1 at the time were really making any source of iron ore worth harvesting.  The thrust behind the idea of the line seems to have been the proprietors of the Stratford on Avon and Midland Junction Railway (SMJ) who saw it as a means of increasing traffic on their railway. The Edge Hill Light Railway was built with standard gauge track  throughout, starts from a junction with the SMJ at Burton Dassett sidings approximately half-way between Fenny Compton and Kineton stations on the SMJ and adjacent to the main road between Banbury and Warwick. The shelter on the platform served as an office for the goods depot foreman. The light railway branch led out of a siding on the south side of the SMJ line and quickly curved away to the south-west. Harry Willmott, the SMJ Chairman, later became chairman and Arthur E Diggings of the SMJ was its secretary and subsequent traffic manager of the new line. The promoters acquired mineral rights to over 600 acres around Edge Hill. The chairman of the company in 1922 was Mr Harry Willmott, chairman of the SMJR and the chief officers of the Edge Hill Light Railway were also those of the SMJ.


This 3.5 mile long ironstone line was engineered by Stephens in 1919 with a 1 in 6 cable-worked inclined section in the middle. The line's working life started in 1922 but it never officially opened and intermittent activity ceased in 1925 as the ironstone deposit was uneconomic. Quarries on Edge Hill were worked until January 27, 1925, when the last load was brought down the EHLR to Burton Dassett. Since that date the line has been disused. The line was severed in WW2 for an army ordinance depot  and stock and the remaining line rotted away until torn up for scrap in 1946


The railway and its rolling stock was left to rot for another 22 years before it was dismantled. For more on the Edgehill Light Railway click here  For more images  click here  and here



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