‘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"


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SMJ Forum

Binton Station

As I was in the vicinity this week I visited my old stamping ground of over sixty years ago, the former SMJ station at Binton. The former goods shed has been demolished, 24 upmarket dwellings have been constructed in the old yard and the former…Continue

Started by Paul Stratford Apr 23.

Would the GCR have gone via Towcester? 14 Replies

Looking through Mac Hawkins book on the GCR then and now, he mentions that the GCR were thinking of running a line connecting Brackley to Northampton and had provisionally made a mound ready for a platform to be later constructed but they dropped…Continue

Started by Gary. Last reply by Andrew Emmerson Apr 18.

EWJR Portland Cement Wagon 13 Replies

Hello All,I found this item on ebay, although it's a model, what I'd like to know is, was it actually based on the real thing? As you can see it has the initials EWJR and return empty to Ettington, which all fits in with the real world.It was listed…Continue

Started by Jim Goodman. Last reply by Jim Goodman Apr 18.

MORTON PINKNEY LEVEL CROSSING 14 Replies

There was a public level crossing between Blakesley and Morton Pinkney, complete with a gatehouse.Does anyone know how this was operated?Presumably the gates must have been manual and kept closed against road traffic.Early Working Timetables mention…Continue

Started by Barry Taylor. Last reply by Andrew Emmerson Apr 17.

SMJ photos

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Gentlemen

While bridges appear to be a popular dicussion point how about the two attached images? They came to my collection with a heap of paperwork a few years ago. There is absolutely nothing on the back of them or in the paperwork to aid identification other than the date imprinted on the original negatives as shown on the prints. It appears that the bridge is a rather substantial structure for an occupation bridge but even at that date I would have thought if it was a public road the surface would have been a little better! In any event it clearly needed attention and some strengthening as the photos shown are "before" & "after" shots. The question is "which bridge"? The source of the paperwork and a map examination of the GWR line through Fenny Compton pretty well rule out that it is on the GW line so it is a SMJ line bridge that the LMS were obliged to repair. The date is consistent with the general civil engineering upgrade of the line at that time that the LMS did to allow heavier trains, (including the installation of the round iron strengthening plates on the Avon bridge at Stratford). The suspects in my opinion are SMJ/LMS bridges 55,57,60,or 63. The double arch should be a big clue but I have failed to spot it yet on any maps or other photos. I hope someone will point out where I have missed an obvious answer otherwise some headscratching is required. It is rather irraitating that the photos were taken from different angles but perhaps the photographer did not like the muddy conditions!! I think it safe to assume that these photos were official civil engineers dept ones as I cannot see any other reason for such a subject.

 

John

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Well John I'm pretty sure your photograph depicts the occupation bridge that's the off the Claydon road.About a mile from Fenny Compton its the final bridge before the S.M.J .continues back over the G.W.R..The track beneath the bridge is from the Claydon road leading to the Grand Union Canal.The house in the distance is still there on the roadside.

Alwyn

Isn't this the one we went under and then up on to the track bed from?
If so then a recent picture will be on the line album.

Many thanks to all who replied (including the direct phone calls). Firstly apologies for not searching our site thoroughly because as Gary remarks it has been visited on "walks"

I can now confirm that it is bridge No 60 (21miles & 01chains) a rather substantial "cattle creep" or occupation bridge. The only question now is why is such a bridge an expensive twin arch structure?? I think the clue is in both of the 1927 photos and in modern ones in that the centre line of the bridge is clearly fenced making two separate tracks. I have not checked any land records but my money is on the probability that the land at this point is a boundary between two landowners both of whom were entitled to a bridge under the original Act of Parliament authorising the East & West Junc Railway. It would have been slightly cheaper to construct the one twin arch bridge rather than two separate single arched ones fairly close together.

 

John

Interesting.....the old map dated c.1900 shows a BRIDLE ROAD running all the way from a field past Boddington Reservoir, across the Oxford canal by bridge, across the G.W.R. line by level crossing, and under the E & W Junction railway by a double arch cattle creep. The Bridle Road stops on the Claydon to Fenny Compton road, but a pathway continues into the field opposite. This pathway also runs parallel with the B.R. up to the canal, after which it appears to be a track way.

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