‘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

Would the GCR have gone via Towcester? 14 Replies

Looking through Mac Hawkins book on the GCR then and now, he mentions that the GCR were thinking of running a line connecting Brackley to Northampton and had provisionally made a mound ready for a platform to be later constructed but they dropped…Continue

Started by Gary. Last reply by Andrew Emmerson 6 hours ago.

EWJR Portland Cement Wagon 13 Replies

Hello All,I found this item on ebay, although it's a model, what I'd like to know is, was it actually based on the real thing? As you can see it has the initials EWJR and return empty to Ettington, which all fits in with the real world.It was listed…Continue

Started by Jim Goodman. Last reply by Jim Goodman 9 hours ago.

MORTON PINKNEY LEVEL CROSSING 14 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 Andrew Emmerson 23 hours ago.

Byfield station woodwork colour 1 Reply

Hi, as anyone any idea what colour the doors would have been on the station building. I have a vague recollection that they were a maroonish/brownish colour, similar to the signal box.Thanks in advanceCliveContinue

Started by Clive. Last reply by Andrew Emmerson yesterday.

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Helmdon

 

 

 

 

Blisworth
Towcester
Wappenham
Helmdon
Banbury



Helmdon station site 2008


A modest beginning was made with the Northampton and Banbury Junction Railway, authorised in 1863, as a first step. Hopes were raised two years later with an Act authorising an extension westwards to Chipping Norton and Blockley, and in the next year, 1866, a further extension was authorised which would have taken the line to Ross-on-Wye. Like so many proposed schemes of that time, the financial crisis of that year put an end to such speculative schemes, leaving the N & BJR on which work had started, high and dry.


 


The goods shed and trackbed - 2008


The railway reached neither Northampton nor Banbury over its own metals but obtained running powers over the L & NWR’s line from Blisworth to Northampton and from Cockley Brake Junction to Banbury over the L & NWR’s line from Verney Junction. The first section opened to Towcester on 1st May 1863. The contractors were Aird & Son; there was one intermediate station at Tiffield, which seems to have been a very simple one-platform affair. The extension to Cockley Brake took another six years to complete because of financial problems. There were two stations on this section, Wappenham and Helmdon, both of which were opened to goods traffic in August 1871. These too had single platforms, but were equipped with passing loops.

Helmdon even boasted a brick built goods shed . The line was opened throughout on 1st July 1872. To start with trains were worked by locomotives bought second hand from the L &NWR, but a hiring arrangement was made with the latter Company in 1875, thereby saving the N & BJR the cost of maintaining their own servicing facilities at Blisworth or Banbury. The track was well laid with bullhead rail, similar to that of the L & NWR. The following 3 links come with thanks from Helmdon.com



Cockley Brake


The N&B didn't run to Banbury over it's own 'metals' joining the L&NWR at a junction known as 'Cocley Brake'. There was one intermediate station at Farthinghoe.



Cockley Brake signal box from passing train. Casserlly


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

 

 

 

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Comment by Si Donal on November 4, 2009 at 22:06
There are two excellent photographs of Heldon (Bottom) station in the Picture Gallery at the Helmdon Village Website.

Pictures 1 and 18 are the relevent pictures.

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