‘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

Smj exploring and making new youtube videos 1 Reply

Hi all members.I was wondering if you could help by subscribing to my YouTube channel ‘NWP EXPLORING’ Mainly railway history and some exploring the SMJ .im planning to explore and video more of the SMJ ,  and if you have a desired area you would…Continue

Started by Neil. Last reply by Henry on Wednesday.

Funny Story about Kineton Military Railway 2 Replies

An improbable, funny, but absolutely true story relating to the Kineton military railway.Long after my Army days I still retained an affection and passing interest in Kineton ammunition depot where I served during the 1960s. Coupled to a 'love' of…Continue

Started by Dave Hayward. Last reply by Henry on Wednesday.

SMJ makes news in 2024! 1 Reply

RAIB Report 04/2024: Runaway wagon at KinetonContinue

Started by Simon Stevens. Last reply by Andy Thompson on Wednesday.

Blisworth - Towcester ETS working

Electric train staff equipment had been brought into use between Blisworth and Towcester by 9 August 1910 (date of SMJR minute 451 (TNA file RAIL 674/3)) and presumably the new signal box at Blisworth appeared at the same time. In that this was so…Continue

Started by Richard Maund Apr 20.

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All Blog Posts (26)

Re-visiting Woodford Halse and Charwelton area.

Over the last couple of months I have been re-visiting the Woodford Halse and Charwelton area. The last time was on the 30th anniversary of the closure. I have memories of firing steam trains between Banbury and Woodford Halse and watching it being run down over the final couple of years. It has always remained a favourite place with me but also the whole of the GCR in general and visited many well-know parts over the years.

I have formed a set of web pages on my…


Added by Bill Reid on October 10, 2018 at 13:27 — No Comments

1875 timetable

Added by Graham Ward on May 5, 2018 at 22:21 — 2 Comments


An irregular publication is the magazine "British Railway Journal". (Cygnet Magazines Ltd)

Edition number 79 has just come out (April 2018)  (£10.95) and a most interesting article by Chris Turner, complete with period photographs for all those interested in Blisworth.

Added by GRAHAM CAMPION on April 20, 2018 at 15:55 — No Comments

150 th Anniversary Towcester-Blisworth Line

I would like to be included aswell.

Added by Mike Hemmings on March 11, 2015 at 10:27 — No Comments

Upcoming 150 Year Anniversary of opening of Blisworth-Towcester line.

Bit of advance notice, but on April 30th 2016, it will be 150 years since the opening of Blisworth - Towcester line.

Surely worth a celebration of some sort / get together at the Blisworth/Towcester end?

Graham Campion

Added by GRAHAM CAMPION on March 4, 2015 at 20:21 — 5 Comments

Fellow Members The Branch Line  Society in conjunction with CHiltern Railways are running a rail trip this Saturday from Birmingham Moor Street. The trip in a 168 will be covering numerous loops and…

Fellow Members

The Branch Line  Society in conjunction with CHiltern Railways are running a rail trip this Saturday from Birmingham Moor Street. The trip in a 168 will be covering numerous loops and sidings between Aynho Junction and Stourbridge including many around Banbury Station that are due to be removed with the soon to be started resignalling scheme there.

For particular interest to SMJ fans will be the two loops at Fenny Compton and a trip up the SMJ as far as…


Added by Dave Hayward on July 30, 2014 at 17:46 — No Comments

Locomotives at Towcester, 1960-1963

Unidentified B.R. Standard 75xxx was in fact Leicester Midland's 75060. (Photo has been found!).

Further locomotives I managed a footplate ride on at Towcester around 1960/1, were 44239, 44522 and 44535. (Old notebook located).

Added by Graham Campion on May 8, 2014 at 7:59 — No Comments

Towcester 1930 to 50


Hi All


I have been building Towcester junction for the last 3 years in my loft I still have a lot to do.

at present I am looking for information on the push pull auto train, details of the Webb engin 2 4 2 T 5' 6"

Added by Mike Hemmings on February 27, 2014 at 14:30 — 1 Comment

Towcester station 1960-3

Just noticed that it will be fifty years on 3rd February 2014 since the Woodford West-Blisworth Ironstone Mine section closed completely.  Wonder if Tesco could be persuaded to put a plaque up to commemorate it?    

Does anyone know when the last freight operated through Towcester, presumably week ending Saturday 1st February.

I got to know the station well at the beginning of the sixties on summer holiday's at my grandparents (Grandad had worked on the SMJ and its predecessors…


Added by Graham Campion on December 10, 2013 at 8:57 — 2 Comments

The SMJ - a good read?

My collection of books specifically about the SMJ totals just seven - and two of these are versions of the same book. But if you are thinking of starting a collection of SMJ books, which ones should you buy?


Book No 1: I started back in 1962 with The Stratford-upon-Avon & Midland Junction Railway by J.M. Dunn (Oakwood Press 1952). It can't have been too popular as I was able to buy a new copy ten years after it was printed, from…


Added by John Evans on October 11, 2011 at 7:10 — 5 Comments

Winter Walks

I've been in touch with forum member Gary who organised last winter's Grand tour. I've suggested we could complete it this winter with the addition of some other sites with S.M.J. 

connections. I've no doubt Gary will post details in due course.


Added by alwyn sparrow on September 3, 2011 at 19:17 — No Comments

1945 Ordnance Survey maps

Hi all,

Just found a site with free view of all the 1945-1947 O.S. maps

The link to the Banbury map showing all the lines is:


The SMJ is actually marked LM&SR  Stratford on Avon & Midland Junc. Line!


Added by Barry Dunwoody on July 29, 2011 at 1:00 — 4 Comments

Get together

I'm looking forward to meeting members attending this second get together. After all the effort that Andy puts into the society & organising this event, I feel he deserves the support of members so please come along and meet your fellow S.M.J. enthusiasts on the 11th June.


Added by alwyn sparrow on May 18, 2011 at 18:19 — No Comments

Bridge damage at Fenny Compton


According to fellow forum member Kevin Moore whom I met last weekend there is still one line in use and he commented that two 37 class loco's coupled had traversed the branch very recently.


Added by alwyn sparrow on May 10, 2011 at 16:12 — No Comments

Gary's SMJ shots

Lovely photo of a bridge weight limit sign. Did you know that there is still one in place on a bridge at Kineton? and is it not very similar? If no-one else has a photo of it, I will try to get down there and take one to post for you!

Regards, Adam.

Added by Adam Moore on April 27, 2011 at 15:10 — 2 Comments

Ettington signal arm

Whilst reading John Evans blog about finding signal arms at Woodford Halse it reminded me of the Ettington one I have.11B signal came off the only bracket signal at Ettington and was used when Ettington signal box was switched out to allow through running towards Clifford sidings using the long section token (Clifford sidings-Kineton). The arm is wooden and well well be one of the original R.S.C. arms.

Added by alwyn sparrow on March 27, 2011 at 14:28 — No Comments

Line Tour III

Well we completed the tour with all station,s apart from Salcey Forest, and junctions, apart from Ravenstone Wood, visited.

We've covered some miles by road and a few by foot too.

I have finally managed to complete the upload of the photos from the latest one and that has been a task and a half.

In doing so I have tried to give folks the best of the tour and most if not all of the relics we found. As I said last time, we took nothing but photos and all we found was left…


Added by Gary on March 14, 2011 at 14:19 — 1 Comment

Blisworth Junction

The Blisworth village history web site has an excellent section on the railway including much info and photos of the SMJ. The link's http://www.blisworth.org.uk/images/Rails.htm. Part 3 links to an article I wrote on my memories of helping out in the main line box in the 1950s and 60s. I also helped (unofficially) at Gayton, Banbury Lane and Heyford.

Added by John Whitehead on March 12, 2011 at 10:25 — No Comments

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