‘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

Malcolm Ranieri

Sad to report the untimely death last week of SMJ Society member Malcolm Ranieri. Malcolm was well known for his excellent steam train photographs that have appeared for many years in the rail preservation press.  He was also one of the main…Continue

Started by Dick Bodily on Friday.

Salvaged track bolts 1 Reply

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 Dick Bodily Sep 28.

Planning Application for Binton Station Site 8 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 Simon Stevens Sep 20.

Proposed conversion of numbers 5 and 6.

According to Dunn, the problems with the two BP tanks ns 5 and 6 running backwards were twice addressed with the idea of converting them to 2-4-2Ts, and that drawings were prepared on at least one occasion.Has anyone ever seen anything of these…Continue

Started by Simon Dunkley Jun 27.

Broom Junction station site for sale 1 Reply

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 May 17.

Ravenstone Wood as three way junction? 1 Reply

A close analysis of the 1945 RAF aerial photographs available in the historical imagery resource on Google Earth has provided evidence that Ravenstone Wood was probably a three-way junction during the latter part of WW2 and for an unknown period of…Continue

Started by Dave Hayward. Last reply by Robin Cullup Apr 15.

Need Site Help?

A long straight stretch of the SMJ, with the line seeming to curve away left in the distance. Not too many other clues, but the telegraph poles are the single bar type which limits it a bit maybe?

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Comment by Barry Taylor on March 27, 2013 at 17:56

Jim - thanks - you could just be right. The poles are on the correct side of the line for looking east, and they are of the right type too. The high voltage line is also just in the right place. Looking on Google Street View across the fields I could almost believe that some of the trees in the distance are the same - but that might be wishful thinking ! The problem with this stretch of line is that very few photos were taken when the track was there - most people got there when it was derelict and overgrown, and so was unrecognisable. It could be from the Hartwell road bridge - the photographer did take some at Quinton and other spots along this stretch in 1957/8, and this bit of line looks still in use.

This is my favourite so far - can anyone confirm? 

I'll put up a photo now of that bridge from the trackbed - not that it helps any !


Comment by Barry Taylor on March 26, 2013 at 14:13

Gary - many thanks for your thoughts on this one. Please see John Jenning's comments about the type of telegraph pole crossbars. Also wouldn't the poles be on the other side of the line if we were looking east down towards Binton from this point? I know that they do vary occasionally and it's easy to get caught out sometimes, so I can't be certain about this point.....?

Comment by Barry Taylor on March 26, 2013 at 11:52


Many thanks for this. I do have one of your own shots looking east from Luddington, and the landscape is certainly similar. The mystery pic could be looking west from the same point perhaps? However, I do concur with your comment about the telegraph poles - I cannot find any at all with just one bar on all of the pics that I have of this section of the line, during the 1950/60 era. The photgrapher did certainly get to that area in 1957, as I have dated shots of Binton and Broom  in March of that year, and the stretch of line pictured is obviously still in use.

I've examined the original print very closely with a magnifying glass, and there are few other clues visible, apart from what looks like a high voltage pole run crossing the line at right angles in the distance just before it curves away left - does this fit? I'm not sure just which bridge you are suggesting, but presumably not the minor road to Luddington, as that would be visible on the right in the picture as it seems to run parallel to the line?

It's just those poles that are the problem.......! 

Comment by Gary on March 26, 2013 at 11:33
I think it is from near B439 looking towards Binton station. There is a long straight there and line curves left gently at the end.
Comment by John Jennings on March 25, 2013 at 21:55

Barry, I am pretty sure that this one is near Luddington between Binton & Stratford. Photo taken from an occupation bridge. The only mystery is the pole run as photos taken towards the end of the ER&SJR route show two cross bars not one! I will look into this further. The reballasting mentioned by others did indeed happen in the early 1950's. Apparantly it was supposed to have been done at the time of the wartime upgrade which brought the East - West route into being at Broom but due to wartime shortages a lot of loco ash and clinker was used instead and of course this did not last long hence the new ballast in the 1050's



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