‘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

Michael Mccarthy 3 Replies

I too have received this unusual email, I would think that it a scam. This is the second time I have received it and will always delete it.Continue

Started by Paul Loveday. Last reply by Paul Dowding Mar 13.

Burton Dassett Cableway 1 Reply

Please find attached a copy of the OS 6" map 1888 - 1913 series that illustrates the subject cable-way (called a tramway on the map) and also the Burton Dassett sidings. This cable-way is mentioned by Arthur Jordan in hos book on the SMJ at pp45, he…Continue

Started by Dave Hayward. Last reply by Mark Reader Feb 22.

Greetings from Bidford & a question re. Arrow river bridge at Broom 6 Replies

Hello everyone, I've just signed up. I'm a lifelong railway enthusiast originally from Dorset; my earliest memory is of being on the train from Wareham to Swanage. I see a few familiar names on here so some of you may know me from the Scalefour…Continue

Started by Simon Stevens. Last reply by Simon Stevens Jan 22.

Banbury Merton Road Shed and Britannia Works Tramway 8 Replies

By any chance does anybody have a reasonable photograph of Banbury Merton Road Loco Shed? If so I would like to include into some private research I am intending to share with a small informal group of enthusiasts, it would be greatly…Continue

Started by Dave Hayward. Last reply by Colin Franklin Dec 30, 2020.

SMJ photos

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towcester station

April 1950
and June 1953

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Comment by adrian vaughan on September 3, 2009 at 18:48
Hello Gary,
Thanks for your very close dating - thanks to the famous'Cooke Book'.
Those views of Towcester are the only ones I have.

Comment by Barry Taylor on September 3, 2009 at 15:27
From other photos that I have, it would appear that your final shot is dated somewhere between June 1956 and 27th June 1957 - the three doll bracket signal lost one of its arms during that period. Reference to R A Cooke's Track Layout Diagrams shows a'new layout' as from 30/12/1956 so that is probably the answer - it involved removing one of the through platform lines and a rearranged track and signalling layout
Incidentally, the small wooden hut shown to the left of the view was rumoured to be the signal cabin removed from Greens Norton Junction when the two lines to Blakesley and Cockley Brake were changed to operate as two parallel single lines from Towcester, instead of a physical junction at G Norton. I don't know whether this is fact or fiction, but it does look like a signal cabin - if so it had been there for a long time ! I photographed it in closer detail around 1964 so it probably lasted right through to the end.
Comment by Dick Bodily on September 2, 2009 at 16:06

Great set of pictures, did you take them yourself? Can't help with the date of the last picture, but pretty certain that the train with the flag was taken on Coronation Day June 1953( not 52). The Banbury line had already been closed, so this train must be working the old EWJR route. Strange that the engine hasn't been turned. There was a weekday schools service to Byfield which was usually 2 coaches (the second coach usually being left at Blisworth the rest of the day) and may have been pulled tender first as it was a shorter journey, I'm too young to remember such details although I did travel on the SMJ as a small child. Perhaps it ran on Coronation Day with just one coach as there wouldn't ahve been any schoolchildren. Looks like a 3F, they were preferred to 4Fs by most Northampton and Blisworth (signing on point) crewsfor SMJR services. Note the LMS headed noticeboards and hawkeye totem.

Comment by adrian vaughan on September 2, 2009 at 14:55
The signal box, station ext. and stn.plat without train I know are 4/1950. The view with a train would seem to be Coronation time so say 6/52. I would like some expert person to put an approximate date to the final view.

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