Mining of the earth’s natural resources in the Blisworth area of Northamptonshire has been evident for many centuries. It was this mining that first sparked the idea of a new railway line to the blast furnaces of South Wales. A direct line, it was thought could be very profitable, independent of the other rail companies such as the London & North Western Railway (L & NWR)
This new line, which started out in May 1866 as the Northampton & Banbury Junction railway,
(N&BJR) opening as it did a short section from Blisworth on the main London, Birmingham line of
Stephenson, 1838 to Towcester was built on the premise of the movement of all the ore from the area. The Towcester section was subsequently followed up by an extension to a junction with the LMW,R at Cockley Brake and so into Banbury.
The Bill for the railway was finally passed
in July 1863 authorising: “The construction of a railway
the county of Northamptonshire to be called the Northampton & Banbury Junction Railway”. The Northampton + Banbury Junction Railways (N+B.J.R) board predicted that the connection of two
such important towns as Northampton and Banbury would create a most significant line which in time would become a main line of communication. It was also anticipated that all that iron ore would form the bulk of the new lines traffic to South Wales.