‘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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Without wishing to start a debate on the pros and cons of HS2, it occurred to me that the proposed route must cross the SMJ somewhere. I looked at the map on the following link:

www.thehs2.com/phase1/maps/showmap.php?type=Google

and it appears that HS2 will cross the old SMJ routes in two places:

i) just to the west of Aston le Walls village on the section between Byfield and Fenny Compton and ii) about halfway between Helmdon and Cockley Brake Jcn.

I don’t know how much of the old trackbed and infrastructure is still visible in these locations but the construction of HS2 is likely to obliterate whatever is there. I have no idea when, or if, work will start but I thought that it might be a good idea if someone photographed these particular areas for posterity before they change. If I was closer I would do it myself but it’s a bit far from where I live in France!

Any thoughts?

John

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Maybe a link to Helmdon station could be proposed. After all, the damsel only sleepeth!

The line of trees in the photo is the SMJ on a slight embankment, Running left from Helmdon to right at Cockley. The HS2 will slice right through it at right angles roughly inbetween the four tress in a square. I will get down there and take some more.

Thanks Les - lovely sylvan scene. It will be great if you can take more pictures of this quality.

If HS2 does go ahead, an awful lot of the beautiful heart of England, such as this, will be blighted. BR should have retained the Great Central trackbed and maintained the bridges etc so that it could now be used as a viable north-south route without having to spend mega-billions on HS2......

This is where the proposed HS2 route will cut the SMJR near Greatworth.

One of the previously considered alternative routes that was eventually rejected was to pass between Blakesley and Woodend crossing the SMJ roughly near the site of the Hall.

I thought that they were going to use a majority of the GCR trackbed? If not, they ought to, as the infrastructure such as cuttings, embankments, bridges ect is still all in place along the entire route between London and Leicester, seems logical anyway.

I don't think that logic plays much of a part in government thinking.......

Richard Woods said:

I thought that they were going to use a majority of the GCR trackbed? If not, they ought to, as the infrastructure such as cuttings, embankments, bridges ect is still all in place along the entire route between London and Leicester, seems logical anyway.

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