‘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"


SMJ Forum

SMJR Logo 4 Replies

Hi ThereI’m planning to print some water slide decals of the EWJR and the SMJR in 4 mm scale.Can anybody help me sort out the size and color scheme?For the size; following photos, this would be between 3 and 4 mm in 1/76For the EWJR Garter I…Continue

Started by Jack Freuville. Last reply by Jim Goodman Aug 4.

Footage of the SMJR 1 Reply

Hello, I found your forum searching for the SMJR. I've just uploaded a digitised version of old cine film footage of the line to my Youtube channel. I will be selling the original Hillside cine film soon along with a few others I've collected…Continue

Started by G Essex Random Railways. Last reply by Jim Goodman Jul 3.

Binton station plans 2 Replies

Hi!I recently discovered this article on Binton station building in the now long defunct magazine ‘Model Railways’ from 1976. It includes a full plan which might encourage someone to model this simple station.Does anyone have access to, or know of a…Continue

Started by Martin Bromage. Last reply by Martin Bromage May 8.

Black & White photos of the SMJ 1 Reply

HelloMy name is Mick Baker and i have recently joined your society.A friend of mine Nigel Hadlow, has taken several thousand black & white photosof railways around the country.With a little help from me with my limited computer skills, i have…Continue

Started by Mick Baker. Last reply by Peter S Lewis Mar 29.

SMJ photos

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Locomotive types seen on SMJR rails





Those of us who are old enough to remember the SMJR lines in steam
days might be tempted to say that you only ever saw 4Fs or 8Fs,especially east of Woodford. By the ‘60s these would have almost exclusively have been Northampton locos. But there WAS variety.

I have compiled this list with reference to the contents of this website, to the standard works of literature on the line, plus books about Northamptonshire’s railways or about the GCR and to my own and other people’s observations. I do not claim it to be 100% accurate or complete so I welcome your comments, criticisms and additions. I have defined the SMJR as extending from Blisworth SMJR station to Broom Junction, from Towcester to Cockley Brake Junction and from Towcester to Ravenstone Wood Junction. Locomotives known to have worked through Broom Junction are not necessarily included as they may have been working to and from Redditch and not along the SMJR. I have also included recent workings between Fenny Compton and the MoD depot at Kineton.

Most of the GWR engines seen only ran between Stratford and Woodford on freights in the 60’s, but the 2251 class (which did not have the clearance issues of the outside cylindered classes) did make it to Blisworth and even Northampton on a few occasions. Many of the more unexpected appearances by LNER or BR types occurred on Woodford to Byfield ironstone sidings trip workings. There must be other unrecorded classes that Woodford shed used on such workings (or on through workings to Stratford especially in GCR days). Similarly there must be other unrecorded GWR classes that were used between Woodford and Stratford in the ‘60s. Surely other LMS classes must have appeared at Blisworth’s SMJ platform or on race day specials to Towcester.

Apart from the modern day workings to Kineton, diesel workings have been very rare but I did see a Class 08 diesel shunter pass Blakesley on freight during the ‘60s.

Special thanks to Gary, Si Donal, Peter Fleming, Barry Taylor and the late John Jennings, who between them have contributed a lot of this information. Also last but not least I must thank Rex Partridge for the use of his extensive records of workings around Woodford West and Byfield and for patiently answering various questions in detail.

Dick Bodily March 2012 ( last updated 24/2/2020)

N&BR The Owl probably ex L&B railway 0-4-2

N&BR Sharp 2-2-2

N&BR Tayleur 0-6-0 ( formerly Ajax)

N&BR Sharp 0-4-2T

N&BR 0-6-0 (believed formerly belonging to a French railway, named 'La Savoie' rebuilt as 0-6-0ST) 

N&BR 2-4-0 ( believed formerly belonging to a French railway, named 'Ceres')

N&BR Sharp 2-2-2WT

E&WJR (loaned from Boultons) Beyer Peacock built or rebuilt? 0-6-0ST ('Wellington' & 'Nelson' - converted from 0-6-0s)

E&WJR Yorkshire Fairlie 0-6-6-0T

E&WJR Fairlie 0-4-4T

E&WJR Yorkshire Engineering 2-4-0T

E&WJR Manning Wardle 0-6-0ST

E&WJR Beyer Peacock 0-6-0 (detailed differences on individual locos including wheel size and cylinder dimensions, along with other SMJ owned types were grouped into 4 power based classes A,B,C &D)

E&WJR Beyer Peacock 2-4-0T (one of the first British side tank locos)

E&WJR Beyer Peacock 2-4-0 (used on SMJ system for Marylebone - Stratford through coaches)

E&WJR (loaned from Boultons) George England (ex S&DJR) 2-4-0

LNWR Hawthorn Goods

LNWR Vulcan Double Framed 0-6-0 (used on N&BJR)

LNWR Hawthorn Long Boiler 0-6-0 (used by N&BJR)

LNWR DX Goods 0-6-0 (3 were bought by E&WJR)

LNWR Cauliflower Goods 0-6-0

LNWR McConnell 0-6-0

LNWR Jumbo 2-4-0 (Blisworth – Stratford ‘expresses’)

LNWR Super D 0-8-0 (one seen on Byfield - Blisworth ironstone train in 1960, they were more regularly seen earlier when 2E still had an allocation)

LNWR Webb 2-4-2T (Towcester Races excursions with double auto train)

LBSCR Goods 0-6-0 (bought by SMJR)

LBSCR Terrier 0-6-0T (on loan from Edge Hill Light Railway)

LSWR A12 Adams 0-4-2 (used on wartime Kineton Depot - Fenny Compton troop trains)

SER Wainwright 01 0-6-0 (to and from WW2 allocation at Kineton) 

EHLR Manning Wardle 0-4-0ST (on loan from Edge Hill Light Railway)

MR Midland 0-4-4T ( replaced Ro Railer)

MR Midland Compound (on railtour)

MR 4-2-2 Spinner (on inspection train in 1920s)

MR 1P 2-4-0 (Stratford Old Town only)

MR 2P 4-4-0 (on inspection trains)

MR 2F 0-6-0  (regular on passenger freight pre WW2)

MR 3F 0-6-0 (regular on passenger & freight up to close of 21D)

MR 4F 0-6-0 (regular on passenger & freight)

L&YR Class 27 0-6-0 (transferred briefly to 2E)

LMS 2P 4-4-0 (on inspection trains)

LMS 3F 0-6-0 (regular on passenger & freight up to close of 21D)

LMS 4F 0-6-0 (usual choice for most workings from LMS days on)

LMS 2MT 2-6-0 (at least one record)

LMS 2MT Tank 2-6-2T (shunting at Blisworth SMJ only)

LMS 4MT 2-6-0 (replaced 4Fs at 2E and used in last few months of the line)

LMS Black 5 4-6-0 ( 2Es locos became more regular in the last few months)

LMS Stanier 2-6-0 (seen at Towcester)

LMS Crab 2-6-0 (seen at Byfield)

LMS Stanier 2-6-4T (Woodford –Byfield pick up goods)

LMS Fairburn 2-6-4T (Woodford –Byfield pick up goods)

LMS Fowler 2-6-4T (Woodford –Byfield pick up goods)

LMS Jubilee 4-6-0 (seen at Towcester)

LMS Patriot 4-6-0 (Blisworth SMJR station only on cattle train)

LMS Jinty 0-6-0T (seen shunting redundant ECS at Towcester also at Kineton Camp in WW2)

LMS 8F 2-8-0 (mainly as usual choice of loco on Byfield-Blisworth ironstone trains)

LMS Ro-Railer

LMS Armstrong Whitworth Diesel Electric Shunter ( to and fro allocation at Kineton by MoD during WW2)

GCR Compound Atlantic 'Jersey Lily' 4-4-2 (on excursions to Stratford from the GCR, the 52' turntable there was installed especially for this class and its sister standard 'Jersey Lilies' but only the compound No 258 'Viscount Cross' was recorded as reaching Stratford although the standard version probably did as well.)

GCR N5 0-6-2T (Woodford – SMJ passenger)

GCR Sacre 2-4-0T (Woodford – SMJ passenger)

GCR O4 2-8-0 (Woodford –Byfield pick up goods)

GCR J11 Pom Pom 0-6-0 (Woodford –Byfield pick up goods)

GER J69 0-6-0T (Woodford –Byfield pick up goods)

GER F4 Holden 2-4-2T ( to and from allocation at Kineton by MoD during WW2)

GER B12/3 4-6-0 (on railtour)

NER B16 4-6-0 (no less than 4 records!)

LNER B1 4-6-0 (one seen at Towcester and also freight to Woodford from Stratford))

LNER K1 2-6-0 (Woodford –Byfield pick up goods)

LNER K3 2-6-0 (one worked to Blisworth and return on freight)

LNER J39 0-6-0 (Woodford –Byfield pick up goods)

LNER J50 0-6-0T (Woodford –Byfield pick up goods)

LNER LI 2-6-4T (Woodford route learning trains and also Woodford – Byfield pick up goods)

LNER 01 2-8-0 (Woodford –Byfield pick up goods)

GWR 22xx 0-6-0 (a few records on pickup freights from Stratford – Blisworth, also on Kineton MoD trains)

GWR Deans Goods 0-6-0 ( to and from allocation at Kineton by MoD during WW2)

GWR 51xx 2-6-2T (brakevan route learning special?)

GWR 61xx 2-6-2T (on railtour)

GWR 81xx 2-6-2T (freight to Woodford from Stratford)

GWR 63xx 2-6-0 (freight to Woodford from Stratford)

GWR 28xx 2-8-0 (freight to Woodford from Stratford)

GWR 56XX 0-6-2T (seen at Fenny Compton SMJ platform only)

GWR 64xx 0-6-0T (Stratford Old Town only on last railtour, but also on an inspection train in 1952)

GWR 72xx 2-8-0T (freight to Woodford from Stratford)

GWR Dukedog 4-4-0 (on railtour)

GWR Hall 4-6-0 (freight to Woodford from Stratford)

GWR Modified Hall 4-6-0 (freight to Woodford from Stratford)

GWR Grange 4-6-0 (freight to Woodford from Stratford)

GWR Castle 4-6-0 (freight to Woodford from Stratford)

GWR King 4-6-0 (repaired and tested in steam Kineton MOD – Fenny Compton)

GWR County 4-6-0 (Stratford Old Town only)

GWR Manor 4-6-0 (Stratford Old Town only)

GWR Diesel Railcar (on excursion)

SR U 2-6-0 (on railtour)

SR Q1 0-6-0 (on railtour)

SR N15 or S15 4-6-0 (running west light engine at Byfield during WW2) 

BR WD 2-8-0 (Woodford - Broom or Stratford through freights)

BR 5MT 4-6-0 (Woodford - Broom or Stratford through freights)

BR 4MT 4-6-0 (Woodford - Broom or Stratford through freights, plus one seen at Towcester)

BR 4MT 2-6-0 (Woodford –Byfield pick up goods)

BR 3MT 2-6-2T (inspection train)

BR Derby Western Region DMU (on railtour)

BR 9F (including Giesl, SC and DC variants)

BR 9F Crosti (one seen on Olney-Towcester section, another towed through Blakesley)

BR Class 08 diesel shunter (on down freight at Blakesley also shunting iron wagons at Blisworth)

BR Class 20 (stored at Kineton MOD)

BR Class 25 (Blisworth - Blisworth Ironstone sidings, also Fenny Compton - Kineton MOD including weed control train)

BR Class 31 (Fenny Compton - Kineton MOD, also stored at Kineton MOD)

BR Class 33 (railtour visited Kineton MOD)

BR Class 37 (Fenny Compton for Kineton MOD)

BR Class 40 (Fenny Compton for Kineton MOD)

BR Class 44 (seen at Blisworth SMJ station, worked to the iron ore sidings)

BR Clas 45 (Fenny Compton - Kineton MOD)

BR Class 47 (Fenny Compton - Kineton MOD)

BR Class 55 Deltic ('Tulyar' towed to and from Kineton MOD for a private ‘open day’)

BR Class 58 (Fenny Compton - Kineton MOD)

BR Class 60 (Fenny Compton - Kineton MOD)

BR Class 66 (Fenny Compton – Kineton MOD)

BR Class 92 (towed to and from Kineton MOD, stored there)

BR Class 323 EMU (towed to and from Kineton MOD where temporarily stored)

BR Class 458 EMU (towed to and from Kineton MOD where temporarily stored)WD Diesel –hydraulic 0-4-0 (Fenny Compton – Kineton MOD)

WD USA S160 2-8-0 wartime loan (Woodford –Byfield pick up goods)

WD USA 0-6-0T ( to and from allocation at Kineton by MoD during WW2)

WD Austerity 0-6-0T (towed to and from Kineton MOD)

LT Unidentified Underground stock (towed through Byfield pre-WW2)

Contractors locos:-

Included among others unknown: Hunslet 0-6-0ST and Sharp Roberts & Co 2-2-2 (building the N&BR); Manning & Wardle 0-6-0ST and Neilson 0-4-0ST (building the E&WR) and Black Hawthorn 0-6-0ST and Manning Wardle 0-4-0ST (on the Towcester to Olney section)


Confirmation Required

GCR Steam Railcar (used between Woodford and Byfield for a short time around 1909?)

GCR Atlantic 4-4-2 (did the non compound version ever run on the SMJ?)

LNER V2 2-6-2 (believed to be have been seen at Blisworth)

Prototype HST Power Cars (stored at Kineton, believed to have arrived by rail)

LMS 12000 series Diesel Shunter ( pretty sure I saw one on a pick up freight early 60s)

This actual engine GCR 'Jersey Lily' Compound Atlantic 4-4-2 No 258 Rt Hon. Viscount Cross, GCB.GCSI ran through to Stratford from
Woodford on a special.


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Comment by Andy Thompson on January 2, 2011 at 18:06
Gary.. I thought i was being clever by saying I had a 1959 version until I met the guy with the original manuscript bought from the Dick Riley collection! Andy
Comment by Dick Bodily on January 2, 2011 at 17:13


Happy New Year to you.

My copy of J M Dunn's is a very old 1952 first edition copy with only 30 pages, I didn't realise this happened but it must have been updated sometime after 1960. I wonder if Hymeks were ever used on the Banbury to Burton Dassett as they were regularly used on trips up the GC from Banbury. I've also got it into my head that 24 or 25 Sulzer Type 2s strayed onto the SMJ towards the end, but I have no proof.


Comment by Gary on January 2, 2011 at 10:07

Just been re-reading my copy of J.M.Dunn's "The Stratford & Midland Junction Railway" [Oakwood Press] and noted that it states pp54

"...but the Banbury to Burton Dassett local trip became the preserve of the GWR 2251 Class 0-6-0 until replaced by diesel locomotives, usually of Class 47."

This gives us a different route for 47's - also raises the question as to what would it be when the 47 didn't run it?


Just out of interest it gives Stratford's final allocation of locos. (Feb '53) and also mentions that in September 1960 over 3 days using 3 different WD 2-8-0's trials were run on ore trains with a dynamometer car in the consist and allowed the trains to "...be increased to 800 tons..." [pp43]

Comment by Colin Franklin on December 8, 2010 at 17:16
There is an interesting photo of the Double Fairlie that was purchased from the Yorkshire Engine Company in 1876 in "Branch Lines Around Towcester - The S&MJR Routes" by Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith. However, are there any photos of the Single Fairlie that came with it too at the same time? Both engines went in 1877.
Comment by Dick Bodily on November 23, 2010 at 9:57
I heard at the weekend from a very reliable source that a Darnell B1 once turned up at Towcester, date unknown.

Comment by Dick Bodily on August 2, 2010 at 19:27

Authenticated sighting of a Castle on SMJ by David Blagrove

This paragraph is reproduced from 'The Quiet Waters By' by kind permission of David Blagrove, the author and The Belmont Press. who publish the book in their 'Working Waterways' series.

David was on board his narrow boat on the Oxford Canal in the 60's when he witnessed this unusual working.
Comment by Dick Bodily on June 1, 2010 at 9:58

Seems likely. I saw a borrowed Bletchley Super D and also a Wellingborough diesel shunter on SMJ freights. I also saw Northampton use a B1 on the West Coast main line. But when it came to borrowing locos Northampton were not in the same league as Woodford who once but a Britannia Pacific on the Banbury motor!
Comment by Peter Fleming on May 31, 2010 at 20:59

The 44s used to work coal trains to Northampton via Market Harborough in the mid 60s (i've got a photo of D10 at Kings Heath Northampton) so it is possible that one got "borrowed" for Blisworth duties.



So it
Comment by Dick Bodily on May 31, 2010 at 11:39

Cheers, have another look, should be amended with your corrections. It could well have been a 44 as these engines were withdrawn from express passenger work on the (West Coast rather than the Midland) as early as the the early 60s and used on mineral trains and the like, They were tranferred en masse to Toton where I saw half the class on a Sunday visit in 1963.

Comment by Peter Fleming on May 30, 2010 at 23:08
Two minor comments.

I think LMS 4MT 0-6-0 is a misprint for 2-6-0 (Ivatt design) which certainly worked from Northampton, and Woodford before that.

Also I saw a Peak working up to the ironstone sidings at Blisworth (it was the only main line diesel I ever saw on the SMJ) but I am pretty sure it was one of the original class 44s. Unfortunately I cannot confirm this.
Comment by Dick Bodily on May 28, 2010 at 15:44
Comment by Si Donal on October 29, 2009 at 7:21pm Delete Comment I have been on the excellent Warwickshire Railways website. There are many pictures of the SMJ locomotives but more importantly, there is a picture of a Midland Railway 1P 2-4-0 shunting at Stratford. It is Number 96 and whilst it wears the old Midland Livery, it is shunting an LMS wagon so it is in the "grouping" era. There you go, an extra loco for the list!
Comment by Dick Bodily on May 28, 2010 at 15:42
Comment by Si Donal on October 28, 2009 at 9:16pm Delete Comment Hello All,

Been surfing the net and found the Beyer Peacock website; www.beyerpeacock.co.uk, which gives a few more details about the locomotives they supplied to the E&W (they never referred to it as the S&MJR).

Order Number Works Number No in batch Whl Arr Date of build Comment
2931 1235-7 3 0-6-0 1873
2935 1238-40 3 2-4-0T 1873
3721 1830 1 0-6-0T 1878
6021 2049 1 0-6-0 1881
2463 2466-7 2 2-4-0T 1885
6568 2626 1 0-6-0 1885
7825 3613 1 0-6-0 1895
8037 3812 1 0-6-0 1896
8487 4126 1 0-6-0 1900
8999 4495 1 2-4-0 1903
9011 4496 1 0-6-0 1903
9245 4633 1 0-6-0 1904
Comment by Dick Bodily on May 22, 2010 at 22:15

Would these be covered by my WD Diesel-hydraulic 0-4-0 entry in the list?

Comment by alwyn sparrow on May 22, 2010 at 19:27
I can give you three ,M.O.D. loco's which worked from Kineton M.O.D.
AD264 (both Thomas Hill 4wDH)
M.O.D. 273 Edgehill

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