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The Wandering 1500 Railtour traversed the SMJ from Blisworth to Stratford upon Avon on Saturday 5th October 1963.  It was, I believe, the last passenger train to pass through Towcester - but I'll stand to be corrected, I often do.  I was a passenger.

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As model railway clubs and enthusiasts often dismantle layouts in order to produce new projects there is no guarantee that all of these layouts are still in existance

Broom Junction (O gauge)

Warley MRS layout sometimes appears at the Warley Exhibit

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NB. The Blakesley Hall site is completely private land and there is no public access at all so please don't trespass.

This pioneering 15” gauge line, which was never officially known in its time as the Blakesley Hall Miniature railway although the l

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When Foinavon won the Grand National back in 1967 at 100-1 my dad’s cousin, a ex-Woodford driver in the passenger links, had backed it at an earlier price of 500-1 simply because he had drawn it in a lottery and also knew the jockey, local man Johnni

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Albert on the footplate of the Gresley N2 tank at Loughborough


During the 1950’s previous to the closure of Stratford – Broom Junction of the SMJR,  five trains each way ran nightly along the SMJ ( Mondays – Saturdays) from Woodford yard to Broom

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East & West Junction Railway  (revised with extra information fromSimon Dunkley)

According to J M Dunn’s revised 1977 edition of The Stratford & Midland Junction Railway (Oakwood)

Locos numbered 1 - 12 prior to 1908 carried crimson lake livery, lined

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I've drawn up this map with reference to Tonks' maps and also to evidence found when Andy & I visited the area in 2010. There were three main phases to the movement of ore by main line rail.

Firstly, a small pit was opened just north of Bridges 4 &

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Advice for people wanting to find out more about the SMJR

The definitive account of the line can be found in Barry Taylor's 'The Stratford-upon-Avon and & Midland Junction Railway (Volumes 1 and 2) '.  Now Volume 2 has been published in 2018 Barry ha

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The last years of the SMJR line pick ups.

(Local freight and ironstone trains in the ‘50s and ‘60s.)


Once the Towcester - Ravenstone Junction section of the former SMJR had closed, through freight workings east of Woodford West Junction ceased leav

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Welcome to the Towcester andDistrict Local History Society website


The town of Towcester (pop 9,000) lies100km (60 miles) north of London, England in rural Northamptonshire. It is the oldest town in the county with evidence of stone age and iron

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The Reason It Came ToBe

Mining of the earth’snatural resources in the Blisworth area of Northamptonshire has been evident for many centuries. It was this mining that first sparked the idea of a new railway line to the blast furnaces of So

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Welcome to the SMJ index page.

From here you can find your way to all the pages on the website.


General Page Links

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(NB) The names in brackets refer to the person who supplied the info.


Banana Line - referring to Towcester - Ravenswood Junction section (Barry Taylor)

Bread and Herring - referring to Towcester - Ravenswood Junction
section (Robin Cullup /

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‘Through Carriage to London’ announced the proud notice at Stratford Old Town as the 7.45am train for Blisworth prepared to leave from the ‘Up’ platform sometime in the 1930s. Would be commuters were directed by station staff to a smartly main

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