‘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


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

Started by Barry Taylor. Last reply by Simon Dunkley 19 hours ago.

Train Simulator SMJ 7 Replies

For those interested in the Train Simulator 2014 side of life... I've begun modelling the SMJ railway in the route creator/editor, using terrain from imported Google Earth and imagery of the line from the SMJ days. As you'd expect, the route is…Continue

Started by Richard Woods. Last reply by Bob hawes Aug 8.

Barry's SMJ book 4 Replies

I see an advert for Volume 1 of Barry Taylor's SMJ history in RM. Apparently it will cover the E&WJR and N&BJR period pre SMJ and is being published by Black Dwarf mid-August, cost &25 plus p.p.Continue

Started by Dick Bodily. Last reply by Dick Bodily Aug 4.

SMJ Section on the Warwickshire Railways website

I have now added more information, much of it generic, to the Warwickshire Railways website. Please review it and advise me if there are any errors.…Continue

Started by mike musson Jul 29.

SMJ section on Warwickshire Railways website

I have now added more information, much of it generic, to the Warwickshire Railways website. Please review it and advise me if there are any errors.…Continue

Started by mike musson Jul 29.

Planning Application for Binton Station Site 5 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 Rob Davidson Jun 2.

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Dick Bodily
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Barry's SMJ book
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Started this discussion. Last reply by Dick Bodily Aug 4.


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Dick Bodily replied to Dick Bodily's discussion 'Barry's SMJ book'
"Cheers Barry, I'm sure a lot of SMJR Society members will be interested"
Aug 4
Barry Taylor replied to Dick Bodily's discussion 'Barry's SMJ book'
"There will be two volumes - Vol 1 covers the early days - NBJR EWJR ST&MJR and ER&SJR histories and the locos and rolling stock of those companies The second takes things on from 1909 when the SMJ came into being - then through LMS and…"
Aug 4
Dick Bodily replied to Dick Bodily's discussion 'Barry's SMJ book'
"How many volumes are planned, Barry? And will it cover LMS and BR days eventually?"
Aug 3
Barry Taylor replied to Dick Bodily's discussion 'Barry's SMJ book'
"Hi Dick Thanks for the mention - I know that there are one or two adverts out there already, and the book is currently being printed in Poland, with a target date of mid August into stock. I will put up a note and a few details on this website when…"
Jul 31
Dick Bodily posted a discussion

Barry's SMJ book

I see an advert for Volume 1 of Barry Taylor's SMJ history in RM. Apparently it will cover the E&WJR and N&BJR period pre SMJ and is being published by Black Dwarf mid-August, cost &25 plus p.p.See More
Jul 31
Dick Bodily commented on Andy Thompson's page Rail Tours
"In E&WJR and early SMJR days before the outbreak of The Great War special trains were run to Blakesley Show. Other specials were provided, presumably from Woodford, to take contestants to the Great Central Railway workers' ambulance cup…"
Jun 13
Dick Bodily commented on Dick Bodily's page The Blakesley Miniature Railway
"Updated with some additional material - June 2017"
Jun 13
Dick Bodily commented on Dick Bodily's page The SMJR in Books and Magazine Articles - A List
"Cheers Alwyn, have added it.  Dick"
May 12
alwyn sparrow commented on Dick Bodily's page The SMJR in Books and Magazine Articles - A List
"A book with a few SMJR photo's "The Chilterns and Cotswolds" published 1977 by David & Charles. Alwyn."
May 12
Dick Bodily replied to alan wilson's discussion 'Trespasser sign'
"I seem to remember that in BR days these signs showed vestiges of white background but were mainly rusty. Stations on the SMJ route and probably other lines too were issued with copious quantities of white paint during the WW2 blackout to…"
Apr 27
Dick Bodily commented on Gary's status
"Thanks Simon, that's interesting.  Strange though that BR didn't use their own staff / loco to do the work as they did with the rest of the system. Most of the SMJ was taken up with trains headed by Woodford 8Fs although Northampton…"
Mar 30
Dick Bodily commented on Gary's status
"It must be an industrial loco, none of the departmental BR locos resembled it.  Any ideas anyone?"
Mar 29
Dick Bodily commented on Dick Bodily's page The SMJR in Books and Magazine Articles - A List
"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"
Mar 18
Dick Bodily posted a discussion

ex-SMJ regular on Heritage Railways DVD

With this month's Heritage Railway there's a DVD of the two preserved Great Central Railways made around 2000. Among the locos shown several times in action on both lines is 48305 which of course was a regular between Byfield and Blisworth on the SMJ route especially on iron ore tipper workings but also on Blisworth - Woodford West afternoon workings. Allocated to Northampton (2E) from May 1957 to November 1962, despite being a 'Star Consol' 8F with wheels and motion especially balanced for…See More
Mar 10
Dick Bodily replied to Barry Taylor's discussion 'SMJ / LNW station arrangements at Blisworth'
"Simon, Barry. There were several Dunkley families in Towcester in the '60s, there probably still are. In fact it was a frequently occurring surname in South Northants generally. One Mr Dunkley owned a cycle shop in Towcester back then, another…"
Mar 7
Dick Bodily posted a discussion

SMJR pictures on warwickshirerailways.com

I found this website the other day, I expect most of you are familiar with it, but I have put this link in in case like myself you were unaware of it. Some nice pictures of Stratford shed both in SMJ and LMS days plus Stratford Old Town and SMJ locos.http://www.warwickshirerailways.com/lms/smj_locos.htmSee More
Feb 9

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An internet search for SMJR when I found Andy's old Towcester's Railway History website
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No, but I know one or two non-enthusiasts who can remember it working.

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At 19:11 on December 18, 2016, NIGEL said…

Further history on 0-6-0 La Savoie. In 1841 Joseph Locke, engineer of the Paris & Rouen Railway, asked Brassey & Mackenzie contractors, in conjunction with William Allcard, contractor for the Permanent Way on the Grand Junction Railway and William Buddicom, engineer, to jointly supply the plant at the Chartreux Works. Hence the company of Allcard & Buddicom was formed specifically to supply locomotives, carriages & wagons to the Compagnie de Chemins de Fer de Rouen. This contract was for 40 locos, 120 2nd class carriages & 200 wagons. The first locos were built in October 1842, to an "Allen Crewe" design manufactured under license. In 1845 the company moved to better premises in Sotteville near Rouen. The 2 French tender engines 2-4-0 and 0-6-0 were purchased from Le Chemin de Fer de Rhone et Loire in 1858 by Thomas Brassey for a contract in Savoy, namely the Mont Ceris Tunnel Railway, which opened in October 1871. Savoy is part of the Auvergne-Rhone-Alps region following its annexation to France in June 1860. The test train took a party of 54 including Buddicom, Crampton & Brassey as Director. Both French engines were probably hired to the E & WJR in 1874 from Thomas Brassey.

Thomas Crampton, an English engineer, was the contractor who built the line for the E & WJR and was later a director of that company.

William Buddicom, an English engineer, who built some of the first locomotives in France.

Thomas Brassey, an English civil engineering contractor, had by 1870 built 75% of French Railways, 33% of British Railways, and 1 in 20 miles of railways in the world.

Two questions come to mind. When was La Savoie actually named and where was she built? We know La Savioe was built in one of two places, but was she named in honour of Savoy being annexed to France?

At 13:03 on October 9, 2015, Murray Wilson said…


I have seven photos of the magazine's pages relating to Blakesley Hall Railway waiting to be sent to you. I do not know how to send attachments via this site so please let me know your email address. Have you tried toysteam31@gmail.com for me?


At 16:24 on October 7, 2015, Murray Wilson said…


I am not good at navigating around sites such as this. I have an email with first effort copies of an article I wish to send to you, I know you have been unable to reach me through my usual email address so please try toysteam31@gmail.com


At 11:36 on June 16, 2015, Robin Cullup said…

47203%20%40%20Swithland%20on%20passenger%2013.6.15.jpgFurther to Dick's comments re the Woodford Halse event at the GC last weekend, I attach a couple of photographs - one of 43106 - a Woodford resident for some in the late'50s/early 60s. This loco moved on to various other sheds including a short stint at Kettering in 1963.

The other is of 47406 renumbered as 47203 going well on a passenger duty at Swithland. 47203 was at L'ster GC as yard shunter in 1958/59,

replacing J52 68839.


At 19:52 on February 18, 2015, Nick Meredith said…

Yes Mark Reader is one if our group. He recently joined us when we discovered he had been planning a layout, also in N gauge based on Kineton for done time. His plans are earlier period than ours so there may well be compromise.

I'll pass on your message when I see him tomorrow evening.

At 9:04 on July 1, 2013, Ian Costello said…


please feel free to don't know if you are aware but Rubio is buried at Sholebrook Lodge' Whittlebury

Regards Ian

At 23:45 on June 15, 2012, Peter William Reynolds said…

Many thanks for the welcome Dick. I am one of Frank's nephews, known as William, or Bill, and son of Jim who was the eldest of the Reynolds boys. There were actually five of them, Jim, Frank, Reg, Ron and Cliff. My father was a policeman and I grew up in Northampton and  have many fond memories of Blakesly.

At 22:05 on February 25, 2012, Paul Stratford said…


Yes I am that photographer, the SMJ has fond memories for me and was the catalyst for my intersest in railways. It is hard to believe and I still cannot believe it myself that some fifty years on as a trainee fireman on the GWSR that I fired a 9F between Toddington and Winchcombe hauling a goods train which is where the goods ran after closure of the Stratford  to Broom section in 1960.


At 10:09 on July 18, 2011, John Jennings said…


After the demise of the pick up goods with its ex MR 4F loco all traffic that came into the SMJ yard at Stratford was handled by the duty loco at Stratford GW. This loco was almost always a 2251 class loco that was primarily used to bank freights out of the GW station in the up direction until they were all cleared out around early 1964. After that various small ex LMS or BR standard 2 or 3 types were used for a while but by early 1965 there was often no loco available for this duty and by 1966 all banking duties had been withdrawn. Until the ex GW sub-shed at Stratford closed the 2251 allocation was serviced at Tyesley after closure they were moved to Leamington ex GW. If you give me your direct e-mail I will send you a load of notes concerning the activities at Stratford GW that will allow you some perspective of how the railways at Stratford operated. I don't think it appropriate to lodge them on this site as they are not strictly SMJ line related.


At 19:18 on July 17, 2011, alwyn sparrow said…

       The wagon labels I have posted show the ash traffic to Ettington as described by John Jennings.The traffic has originated from various western region engine sheds. The recipient at Ettington was a Mr H.J.Jaques. Although the labels are from an earlier period than discussed.


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