‘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

Fenny Comptn

HelloI purchased the book « Track Layout Diagrams of the Great Western Railway and B.R. (W.R.) section 29 » « Stratford-upon-Avon & Midland Jcn Rly » by R.A.Cooke ISBN 10 :1 871674 20 4N page 29/9 on the 1903 track plan it shows a goods shed at…Continue

Started by Jack Freuville on Monday.

Albert Fennell (GCR driver and former Woodford fireman) retires

On Sunday 8th October ex- Woodford fireman Albert Fennell who fired several times…Continue

Started by Dick Bodily Oct 10.

standard station design? 2 Replies

I have just noticed that Byfield and Blakesly station buildings look identical and also Morton Pinkney looks similar. Was it a standard design? Also can any one tell me where i might be able to find a photo of the non platform side i.e. entrance.…Continue

Started by Clive. Last reply by Clive Oct 9.

NEW BOOK ON THE SMJ - AVAILABLE SHORTLY 13 Replies

Hi allI'm pleased to announce that the first volume of my history of…Continue

Started by Barry Taylor. Last reply by Barry Taylor Sep 23.

Fenny Compton

HiI’ve just purchased the book « Track layout diagrams of the Great Western Railway and B.R. (W.R.) section 29” by R.A.Cooke and notice that on page 29/9 concerning Fenny Compton, he mentions a goods shed at the end of the exchange sidings as…Continue

Started by Jack Freuville Sep 6.

Planning Application for Binton Station Site 7 Replies

I've just been told by friends from Welford that there's a planning application to redevelop the Binton Station site:Binton Station Planning…Continue

Started by Simon Stevens. Last reply by John Douglas Aug 25.

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The SMJR in Books and Magazine Articles - A List

Advice for people wanting to find out more about the SMJR

The definite account of the line up until 1909 can be found in Barry Taylor's 'The Stratford-upon-Avon and & Midland Junction Railway Volume 1'.  When Volume 2 has been published in 2018 Barry will have provided an exceptionally well-researched detailed account of the line that will have no equal.  A true classic of railway literature. But if you are looking for a little book to give a good short overall account of the SMJR then J M Dunn's 1977 (completely revised and rewritten by JWP Routledge) account is the one to look for, the original 1952 version is nowhere near as good. Riley & Simpson's book is flawed by annoying spelling errors and has a couple of misleading captions but has some interesting photographs especially of the latter days of the line. Jordan's book is written from the viewpoint of a personal acquaintance with the Stratford end of the system and is well illustrated.

Also have a good look at the various articles on this website, Go to the 'All the pages' option on the Index link for the full list of articles. Much of the information in these pages is not available anywhere in print. There are lists of loco types, preserved SMJ route locos, lists of sidings and bridges, details of railtours, railwaymen's memories of the SMJ and much more.

SMJR Books

“The Stratford-upon-Avon & Midland Junction Railway (Volume 1)”- Barry Taylor (Lightmoor Press 2017) covers the constituent lines that were to form the SMJ up to 1909 in great detail with lots of 'new' photographs.

“The Stratford-upon-Avon & Midland Junction Railway” – J M Dunn (Oakwood Press 1952).

“The Stratford-upon-Avon & Midland Junction Railway” – J M Dunn - completely rewritten and extended by JWP Routledge 2nd Edition (Oakwood Press1977) - NB This is far superior to his original book is more than twice as long and is the one to get!)

“The Stratford-upon-Avon & Midland Junction Railway" – A Jordan (Oxford PC 1982) - from a Stratford pespective.

“A History of The Stratford-upon-Avon & Midland Junction Railway” – Riley & Simpson (Lamplight Publications 1999) - nice pictures but several irritating errors.

“The Northampton & Banbury Junction Railway” – S Jenkins (Oakwood Press 1990) - an excellent account of the N&BJR.

“Branch Lines Around Towcester” – Mitchell & Smith (Middleton Press 2008)

“Towcester Memories of the Slow, Miserable & Jolty”- R Stevens (Towcester LRS 1994)

"The Signalling of the SMJ" - M Christensen  (Railway Signalling Record Society 1973).

 Useful information about the SMJR in other books that are not specifically about the SMJR

"Track Layout Diagrams of the G.W.R. and BR W.R." - R.A. Cooke (1975. revised 1996) - Section 29  shows all the SMJ routes

"LMS Sheds Vol 4" - Hawkins & Reeve (Wild Swan 1984) has a chapter about SMJR sheds with useful information and pictures of Stratford 21D

"The Banbury to Verney Junction Branch”- B Simpson (Lamplight Publications 1994)

“The Last Years of The Great Central Main Line”-  R Robotham (Ian Allan 1986) has a Woodford Halse chapter by Rex Partridge which has info about the SMJ

 “The Railways of Northamptonshire” – David Blagrove (Wharfside Publications 2005) has a chapter on the SMJ which outlines the line’s history

“The Ironstone Quarries of The Midlands – Part 3 Northampton Area”- Eric S Tonks ( Runpast 2009) has information about Blisworth Ironstone

“The Ironstone Quarries of The Midlands – Part 2 The Oxfordshire Field”- Eric S Tonks ( Runpast) has information about Byfield Ironstone

"Track Layout Diagrams of the G.W.R. and BR W.R." - R.A. Cooke - (1975) Section 29  shows all the SMJ routes

"Shakespeare's Railways" (Mid England Books 1994) - John Boynton -Chapter 3 "Shunt 'em a Mile and Jolt 'em" is on the SMJ with some nice pictures of the Ro-Railer and some of T E Williams shots amongst others.

"Branch Lines of Warwickshire" (Alan Sutton 1994) - C G Maggs - has a section on Broom Jcn to Fenny Compton with some interesting photos including some "on train" shots by P Q Treloar whilst on a brake van ride. There is also a section on the Edge Hill Light Railway.

"Discovering Lost Railways" - F G Cockman (Shire Publications 1973) has an SMJR chapter.

"The Trains Now Departing - 16 Excursions into Lost Delights of Britain's Railways" Michael Williams (Preface Publishing 2014) - slightly tongue in cheek chapter about SMJR.

"Northamptonshire Steam" - Michael Walsh (Rails 2016) - a short section on the SMJR with colour pictures by Tom Tomalin and others

" T Williams -The lost Colour Collection Vol 1 (Irwell Press 2017) - includes some SMJR photos along with many WR photos.

Some limited information about the SMJR in other books

“The Ironstone Quarries of The Midlands – Part 1 Introduction”- Eric S Tonks ( Runpast)

"The Edge Hill Light Railway" - E S Tonks (Published by Author1948).

"The GCR in LNER Days Vol 2" - Jackson & Russell (Ian Allan 1976) has a chapter about the Stratford slip coach and its sad demise at Woodford Halse.

"Lost Railways of Northamptonshire” – Geoffrey Kingscott (Countryside Books 2008) which concentrates on the remaining evidence of these lost lines has a chapter on the SMJ

“Lost Railways of Warwickshire” - Geoffrey Kingscott (Countryside Books 2009) – covers the SMJ in Warks but contains several errors

“A History of the Railways of Northamptonshire” – Peter Butler (Silver Link 2006) has a short chapter on the SMJ

 “Shed by Shed  Part 1 London Midland” – Tony Walmsey (St Petroc InfoPublishing 2010) gives details of all locos allocated to 21D ie. engines that worked the SMJ regularly from 1950, also includes Northampton, Bedford, Gloucester Barnwood & Woodford allocations.

“Off Northampton Shed” – Derek Mutton (Wild Swan Publications 2006) mentions a couple of firing trips on the SMJ

“The Blakesley Miniature Railway and the Bartholomew Family" – Dr Bob Tebb (Silver Link 2009) has some references to E&WJ and SMJ

“A Countryman’s Tale” – Sydney Tyrell (self published) a Moreton Pinkney local history contains useful information on the building of the E & WJR and the GCR in the Moreton area, an extract was published in ‘Forward’ the GCR Society magazine, date unknown

“Beside the Crooked Brook” – Doug Blake (self published 2009) a local history of Blakesley has chapters on The SMJ and Blakesley Miniature Railway

“Astride the Hill of Knowledge" – Doug Blake (self published 2013) a local history of the district around Blakesley has a section on The SMJ which I helped Doug write.

“LMS Branch Lines England & Wales” – C J Gammell (OPC 1997) has 7 b/w pictures

“Specials in Steam” – B Stephenson & P Russell (Ian Allan 1968) has 6 b/w pictures of specials on SMJ

“Branch Line Album 2nd Series” – P W Whitehouse (Ian Allan 1969) has 1 b/w picture

“London Midland Steam Finale” – Michael S Welch (Runpast 2000) has one colour picture of 48305 at Towcester

“Steam Nostalgia Around Northampton”- R Coleman & J Rajczonek (Northamptonshire Libraries 1987) has 6 b/w photos

“Steaming into Northamptonshire” - R Coleman & J Rajczonek (Northamptonshire Libraries 1988)  has 13 b/w photos

“Railway Images Around Northamptonshire” - R Coleman & J Rajczonek (W D Wharton 1992) has 9 b/w photos inc. 3 of early E&WJR period railway trains and Evan Dines feature

“Steam Railways in Colour Around Northamptonshire” - R Coleman & J Rajczonek (W D Wharton 1993) has 2 colour photos

“Northamptonshire’s Lost Railways” – David Blagrove (Stenlake Pub.) has 6 b/w photos

“Northamptonshire’s Railway Stations on old picture postcards” – A Rice & A Swift ( Reflections on a Bygone Age 2008) has 11 b/w photos

"British Railways Past & Present - Warwickshire" - Roger Siviter (The Nostalgia Collection 2001) has 3 pictures of the Dukedog railtour at Stratford, Fenny Compton and Kineton plus 2 of Broom Junction

“The Trains We Loved” - C Hamilton Ellis (paperback McMillan 1971)

"A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain Vol 7" -  Rex Christiansen David & Charles 1973 SBN 0 7153 6093 0

Also Vol 9 by Robin Leleux David & Charles 1976 SBN 0 7153 7165 7

" Waterways to Stratford" - C Hadfield & J Norris (David & Charles 1962)

 "The Stratford & Moreton Tramway" - John Norris  (Railway & Canal Historical Society 1987)

 "The Chronicles of Boulton’s Siding" - A R Bennett (Locomotive Publishing Co.1927)

 "The Dillen" (Elm Tree Books ref 0 241 10558 7) - has info about the canal's links with the Moreton Tramway

"Great Central" Vols 1,2,3  - George Dow (Ian Allan 1959) - this nowadays very expensive out of print history has very limited references to the E&W and SMJR

"Britain' s Railway Liveries 1825-1948" - Ernest F. Carter (ISBN 0 287 66989 0). It was first published in 1952 by Burke Publishing Company Limited. The second edition was published in October 1963 and the third edition was published in January 1980. Contains info about SMJ liveries.

"Lost Railways" by F G Cockman (Shire Publications)- a superb essay like resume of the SMJ. 

"Industrial Locomotives of Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire & Bedfordshire." Robin Waywell. (Industrial Railway Society. 2002. ISBN 1 901556 23 9)(Hardback) see contractors locos for construction and lifting of the line.

"Bletchley - Town of Trains" - A E Grigg (Barracuda 1980) has some info concerning the Towcester - Banbury branch.

"Cross Country Steam" - Stanley Creer (Ian Allan Ltd 1979, ISBN 0 7110 0928 7) has 3 pictures of the SMJ.

"Central Ammunition Depot - Kineton 1942 - 1992" ( publisher & date unknown)

"The Rise and Fall of British Railways  Branch and Minor Lines" - John Vaughan (Haynes) has 1 picture.

"Railways in Northamptonshire and the Soke of Peterborough" - Andrew Swift (Yesterday's Northamptonshire)

"Northamptonshire Railway stations" - Alan Rice and Andrew Swift (Yesterday's Northamptonshire) .

"Banbury And Cheltenham Direct Railway'' - Stanley Jenkins, Bob Brown and Neil Parkhouse (Lightmoor Press 2004.)

"The Rise and Fall of British Railways - Branch and Minor Lines" - John Vaughan (Haynes).

''Mainline To Industry''- Frank Jones (Lightmoor Press1998) ISBN 1 899889 02 7
- details of two locos sold into industry by E&WJR and SMJR

"Railway Blunders" - Adrian Vaughan ( Ian Allan Publishing 2003 ; paperback version 2008 (ISBN 978 0 7110 3169 2) A short section on the SMJ route on pages 78-81.

"The Last Years of Steam Around The Midlands - From The Photographic Archive of the late A.J. Maund" - Michael Clemens (Fonthill Media 2013) - has 2 pictures of 'Chiltern 200' Railtour

"The Redditch and Evesham Line" - Bob Yate (Oakwood Press 2015) - some limited information about Broom Junction

"Great Western Steam in the Midlands" - Michael Mensing (Bradford Barton 1973) - has 1 picture of train on Stratford SMJ to GWR Loop

"The Chilterns and Cotswolds" Davis and Grant (David & Charles 1977) has a few pictures of the SMJ

Magazine Articles

The Railway Magazine - November 1902 - Vol 11 p393 - part of T R Perkins 'The Railways of Warwickshire' covers the E&WJR.

The Railway Magazine - April 1910 - Mr Russell Willmott, Traffic manager and Engineer SMJ is interviewed by the RM.

The Railway Magazine - April 1933 - D S M Barrie describes the SMJ.

The Railway Magazine - August 1952 - "To South Wales via Towcester" by Michael Robbins.

The Railway Magazine - April 1956 - "On the SMJ by Freight Train" - D A Beacock (Headmaster of Towcester Grammar School at the time) - describing his footplate ride from Towcester to Stratford on the pick-up freight and back with much detail of the working. 

The Railway Magazine - Vol 26 p265; Vol 30 p169; Vol 72 p235 ( NB. some of these may refer to already mentioned articles

The Locomotive Magazine 1902 & November 1911

Railway Archive - issue 29 - ISSN 1477-5336 pages 25 - 30 - an article about early E&WJR locos.

Trains Illustrated - Feb 1952 - an article "The SMJ in Modern Times" (B Cooke), and another "The Banbury Branch" (O H Prosser)

Trains Illustrated - April 1952 - four interesting follow-up letters re the above.

Trains Illustrated (Sept 1960) “ New SMJ Connection at Stratford–on(sic)-Avon” – T E Williams photo feature

Steam World (May 2007) “Is that you, Butcher? (Part 2)” – David Butcher – a footplateman’s excellent account of the famous‘Wandering 1500 Railtour’, covering the SMJ section

Railway Bylines (December 2007) “The Stratford-upon-Avon & Midland Junction Railway (Part 1)”- I C Coleford – a general article on the BR days

Railway Bylines (January 2008) “The Stratford-upon-Avon & Midland Junction Railway (Part 2)” – D Cummings – a description of a journey made by E Ruck in 1951

Railway Bylines (March 2008) “Freeman’s Forays” – Leslie Freeman – photo feature with pictures of Towcester, Blakesley, Morton Pinkney and Woodford/Byfield area from 1964

Railway Bylines (March 2012) "The SMJ Revisited - A Personal View (Part 1)" - Barry Taylor - features the Ravenstone Junction to Towcester section.

Railway Bylines (April 2012) "The SMJ Revisited - A Personal View (Part 2)" - Barry Taylor - features the Towcester to Banbury section.

Railway Bylines (June 2012) "The SMJ Revisited - A Personal View  Part 3)" - Barry Taylor - features the Towcester to Ettington section.

Railway Bylines (July 2012) "The SMJ Revisited - A Personal View  Part 4)" - Barry Taylor - features the Ettington to Broom section.

Railway Bylines (July 2015) "Early Days at Byfield Ironstone Siding" - Barry Taylor - contains new research carried out at the Records Office, Kew  by Barry.

Railway Bylines (November 2015) "Railway Journeys Never Made - SMJ Part 1 " - Barry Taylor - describes an imaginary journey from Northampton Castle to Stratford Old Town.

Steam Days (Jan 2009) – “Stratford–upon-Avon & Midland Junction Railway 100 Years On” - Andy Thompson – a general history which focuses on the financial ‘ups and downs’ of the SMJ line

Midland Railway Society Journal No 41 (Autumn 2009) “Bedford to Gloucester via the SMJ” – Maurice Jeyes – describes a Bedford 14E lodging turn over the SMJ

Midland Railway Society Journal No 58 (Summer 2015) "Some notes on Ravenstone Wood Junction - Robin Cullup - Robin's research into workings through this link with the Midland Railway near Olney including workings to Northampton and to the SMJR

Steam Days (June 2010) “Byfield (S&MJR)" - Rex Partridge - about Byfield and also new information about Woodford – Stratford through freights of the early‘60s

British Railway Journal No. 76 (Wild Swan Publications) - "Towcester in the 1930s" - Bill Kendall and Chris Turner.

British Railway Journal No. 78 (Wild Swan Publications) - "Wappenham" - Bill Kendall  Turner.

Forward (GCR Society Magazine - June 2011 )”The Great Central Railway and Shakespeare’s birthplace” – David Wrottesley – new information on early GCR through coaches  and connections with the SMJ

Model Railway News September 1963 pages 27 - 29 - details and plans of the Ro-railer, suitable for modelling

Railway Modeller March 1968 and July 1968 - details and plans of Blakesey Station, suitable for modelling

 Railway Archive No29 Lightmoor Press ISSN 1477-5336 - Barry Taylor's article "A French Farce in West Northamptonshire" about a fire involving the E&WJR's French 0-6-0 in 1875.

Railway World May 1976- good two page pictorial of the line in the late 50s/early 60s.

Best of British March 2017 - short article on the Ro-Railer

Magazine Articles with some references to the SMJ

The British Railway Journal  No 70 (Wild Swan Publications) -Chris Turner- all about Banbury Merton Street.

LMS Journal - Special LMS Edition - "The Broom Connection" - Bob Essery - deals with both the Redditch - Ashchurch line and the SMJ to Stratford.

The Locomotive Magazine (15th May 1906) “Blakesley Hall Miniature Railway”

The Model Engineer and Electrician (5th July 1906) “The Blakesley Hall Miniature Railway”

Steam Days (October 1992) “Woodford Memories” – Clive Boardman – mentions firing WDs and a B16 on the SMJ

Back Track Feb 2005 Vol 19 p118

Railway Wonders of the World Part 21 - The Amalgamated Press Ltd June 21st 1935.

Locomotives Illustrated. "The Locomotives of the Smaller LMS Constituents - The Furness, Maryport & Carlisle, Wirral, C&WJR, KE and S&MJ Railways". April-June 2006 The basic information is on pages 5 and 6, although there are black and white photos of SMJ locos on pages 3,6,15-19.

Steam Days (June 2012) "Related Through Ironstone" - Rex Partridge - about Byfield & Charwelton Ironstone quarries.

British Railways Illustrated (April 2014) 'More on Northampton Shed' - Barry Taylor - a couple of snippits about the SMJ in this excellent general article about 2E in '49.

Railway Locomotives (October 1946) The LMSR Banbury Branches - Anthony J Bryant - contains details of workings from the SMJR as well as from the Bletchley Line

Meccano Magazine (August 1956) An account of the the SMJR railtour which began at Kings Cross with some reference to the route taken over the SMJR lines

DVDs

“The Shakespeare Route – the SMJ” (Hillside Publishing) is the only DVD specifically about the SMJ

“Ian Lyman ‘s East Midlands” includes a trip along the SMJ to Woodford West

“Routes from Northampton” (Cine Rail) brief coverage of the SMJ but lots about Northampton inc 2E

“The Great Central – The Route Explored Vol 2” (TVP) not a lot on the SMJ but excellent coverage of trains at Woodford inc 2F, Charwelton & Catesby tunnel area

B & R Video's "No 25 East Midlands" - Jim Clemen - has footage of the Northampton to Bedford branch with shots of Olney and the shed and yard at Olney and the SMJR junction.

B & R Video's No8. "Great Central. Woodford Halse" - has the last steam special at Byfield Ironstone sidings. The Bagnall and the Avonside are seen stored in the open - no sign of the shed

B & R Video's No 15 "Gloucestershire & Warwicks" - SMJR Stratford to Woodford.

On VHS only

 Ivo Peters. "Ironstone Collection"  a railway club seen visiting Byfield

 

Updated 25/9/2017  R Bodily

 

 

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Comment by Dick Bodily on September 25, 2017 at 13:35

Considerably updated and revised as a result of the publication of Barry Taylor's book.

Dick Bodily 25/9/17

Comment by Dick Bodily on May 12, 2017 at 15:51

Cheers Alwyn, have added it.  Dick

Comment by alwyn sparrow on May 12, 2017 at 8:01

A book with a few SMJR photo's "The Chilterns and Cotswolds" published 1977 by David & Charles.

Alwyn.

Comment by Dick Bodily on March 18, 2017 at 20:53

Added to list

"Northamptonshire Steam" - Michael Walsh (Rails 2016) - a short section on the SMJR with colour pictures by Tom Tomalin and others

Dick Bodily 18/03/17

Comment by Dick Bodily on January 10, 2017 at 12:46

Cheers Gary, have updated that. No doubt the book has several panned pictures of GWR expresses as Michael Mensing was noted for those sort of shots, one of the best steam age photographers.

Dick

Comment by Gary on January 10, 2017 at 9:44

Hi Dick,

The book is credited to Michael Mensing.
ATVB
G

Comment by Dick Bodily on January 8, 2017 at 12:02

Cheers Gary, good to hear from you, have added it tolist, was it one of T E Williams book by any chance?

All the best

Dick

Comment by Gary on January 7, 2017 at 21:32
Not sure if this is the place to record this or not but in "Great Western steam in the Midlands" (By D Bradford Barton Ltd 1973) pp70 there is an image of 6944 "Fledborough Hall" on a freight taking the curve South from Stratford to the Honeybourne line in May '64.
Comment by Dick Bodily on October 2, 2015 at 19:00

Updated 2/10/15 with thanks to Simon

Comment by Simon Stevens on October 1, 2015 at 8:48

Hi Dick,

The Trains now Departed is published by Preface Publishing, glad to see it has the society's seal of approval.  The Redditch & Evesham line is from Oakwood Press.

Simon

Comment by Dick Bodily on September 30, 2015 at 17:35

Simon

Could you send me the publisher of the two books you mentioned so I can add them to the list. Mr M Williams actually sent TFC the proof for his SMJ chapter and I got to read it through too.  It was obviously aimed at the general reader and was rather tongue in cheek and mickey taking of the SMJ in style but was fairly accurate factually.

Dick

Comment by Simon Stevens on September 29, 2015 at 13:23

I've found a couple of fairly recent books with SMJR content:

First, The Trains Now Departed: Sixteen Excursions into the Lost Delights ... by Michael Williams has a chapter describing the SMJR and its history; it's a nostalgic account with no maps or photos.

Probably of more interest will be THE REDDITCH & EVESHAM LINE - The story of the line from Barnt ... by Bob Yate which has a photo of Broom Junction on the cover and chapter 5:

Connections at Broom Junction
The plans and intentions of lines that were never built. The building of the Evesham, Redditch and Stratford-on-Avon Junction Railway, its connection to the Midland Railway line at Broom, its subsequent operation by the Stratford and Midland Junction Railway, implications of connecting traffic and services, and the eventual demise of connections.

Comment by Dick Bodily on August 12, 2015 at 16:39

Cheers Colin,

list  now updated

Dick

Comment by Colin Franklin on August 12, 2015 at 15:07

In Michael Clemens book "The Last Years of Steam Around The Midlands - From The Photographic Archive of the late A.J. Maund (ISBN 978-1-78155-129-5) published by Fonthill Media in 2013 on pages 29 and 30 are two photos of GWR 2-6-2T No 6111 at Stratford SMJR station and at Kineton whilst working the Railway Enthusiasts Club "Chiltern 200" rail tour on the 14th September 1963.

Comment by Dick Bodily on August 11, 2015 at 19:54

Updated with Robin's recent article in MRS Journal listed.  Dick 11/8/2015

Comment by Andy Thompson on January 3, 2015 at 18:49

Adrian Vaughan is a member - why don't we ask him about his 4 pages? Andy

Comment by Colin Franklin on December 10, 2014 at 16:45

Another book that has a four page article on the SMJR is "Railway Blunders" by Adrian Vaughan which was published by Ian Allan Publishing in 2003 with a paperback version in 2008 (ISBN 978 0 7110 3169 2) Pages 78-81.

Comment by Richard Maund on August 20, 2014 at 12:40

"Track Layout Diagrams of the G.W.R. and BR W.R." - R.A. Cooke - (1975) Section 29  shows all the SMJ routes

This was up-dated in a third edition of 1994 (now out of print).

Comment by Duncan Young on April 28, 2014 at 10:10

SMJR reference

 

Discovering Lost Railways FG Cockman

Shire Publications ISBN 0 85263 231 2

PUBLISHED 1973

 

I do not know whether this book is still produced by Shire but I purchased it in 1974 for 40p- 80% of my pocket money! - from a war gaming shop in Durham!

 

It has a chapter on the SMJ and opens with the words “The faith of the Victorians in their railway system and their determination to overcome almost insuperable difficulties are exemplified in the history of the E&WJR.”. It made me cross reference with PB Whitehouse’s Branch line Album and helped me identify the SMJ whilst on a canal holiday on the Avon Ring in 1977. I found the remains of Stratford Old Town( platforms) and the recently closed Honeybourne line nearby, sailed under the SMJ Avon bridge and saw Binton-on-Avon station; is that still with is?

 

The work is not definitive but a definite morsel of interest to encourage further research and spark interest- it worked in my case! I met Fred Cockman in 2000, he was in his 99th year and a true gentleman. Sadly, he died soon after but I think a Bedfordshire railway group now hold his railway papers, some of which may be on the SMJR

 

Comment by Dick Bodily on February 26, 2014 at 19:50

Thanks Stephen,

It's now in the list, that's interesting detailed information indeed, especially about what happened to the Beyer Peacocks. I think these must have proved troublesome for the SMJ as there were various restrictions as to their use, especially when working bunker first. They were only allowed to run bunker first on passenger trains in an emergency between Stratford and Blisworth and not allowed to do so under any circumstance between Broom and Stratford.  Significantly GCR tanks took passenger trains from Woodford to Byfield.

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