‘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

Video: Stratford-upon-Avon to Towcester

I have added a video to the site's video page.https://youtu.be/DHCoijWc_t0Continue

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Started by Graham Ward yesterday.

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.

SMJ photos

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Please find attached a copy of the OS 6" map 1888 - 1913 series that illustrates the subject cable-way (called a tramway on the map) and also the Burton Dassett sidings. This cable-way is mentioned by Arthur Jordan in hos book on the SMJ at pp45, he does discuss the question of man-riding! I understand but have no details that there was a fatal accident at Northend involving the cable-way (man-riding?).


Dave Hayward

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Hi Dave

Eric Tonks included an excellent chapter on this topic in his book, ‘Ironstone Quarries of the Midlands, Part 2, The Oxfordshire Field’.

Its interesting that while it appears on the 1888-1913 OS map, the aerial ropeway does not appear on the 1881-1890 1:2500 or the 1883-1889 1:10560 first edition series maps, even though we know it was in use by then. It just goes to show the time lag at that time between gathering data and publishing the actual maps.

The Burton Hill Iron Ore Co appear to have been renting railway wagons from as early as January 1871, which would suggest that the aerial ropeway was in active use (on and off) from the moment the EWJR was opened for commercial operation. Although the exact closure date is not certain, the last recorded use seems to be 1925. I say ‘on and off’ because the quarries at Burton Dassett were not in constant use throughout this period, and the ropeway fell into a fairly bad state of disrepair.

I’ve attached an image of the ‘cage’ that protected the public from falling debris where the ropeway crossed the road at North End. Tonks refers to the practice of taking a ride in the buckets, but I don’t recall him referring to a fatality, so I’d be really grateful if you could point me in the direction of your source for that information. I wonder if the fatality occurred before or after the cage/bridge was constructed.



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