‘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

2F WDs working to Bristol

In the 1950s/60s we had a regular working of a 2F Woodford Halse WD to Bristol. I was always intrigued by how they got there. Does anybody know if that was via the SMJR please?Continue

Started by Bob Bishop on Friday.

Talk to Welford Local History Society

I live in Welford on Avon which now incorporates the former Binton Station with its recent housing development.The local history society is currently planning its 2022/23 programme of events and talks and would be keen to include a talk on the…Continue

Started by John Read Oct 8.

Broom Junction station site for sale 2 Replies

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 Oct 4.

Salvaged track bolts 2 Replies

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 Russ Firth Oct 3.

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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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