‘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

Does this show the Scratter at Roade? 4 Replies

A very short clip of a cricket match at Roade. A goods train passes. Could it be on the SMJR?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnPSvt-NEeIContinue

Started by Ron Johnson. Last reply by Chris Hillyard RVM on Friday.

Black & White photos of the SMJ

HelloMy name is Mick Baker and i have recently joined your society.A friend of mine Nigel Hadlow, has taken several thousand black & white photosof railways around the country.With a little help from me with my limited computer skills, i have…Continue

Started by Mick Baker on Thursday.

Newport Pagnell OO gauge - MK Museum 1 Reply

I've added this photo album for Jon , David and anyone else to see. As its not SMJR related I will delete it after a few weeks. here is a linkNewport Pagnell OO gauge - MK…Continue

Started by Dick Bodily. Last reply by Dick Bodily on Wednesday.

DVD on the SMJ 3 Replies

HiI’m looking for a copy of the film “The Stratford Upon Avon & Midland Junction Railway” edited by Hillside Publishing some time ago.This company is now out of business and cannot be called upon to get a copy.If possible, I would wish to…Continue

Started by Jack Freuville. Last reply by Jack Freuville Dec 18, 2021.

SMJ photos

  • Add Photos
  • View All
Not really a discussion topic but an item of information.

In the latest edition of the Historical Model Railway Society Journal is an article by Richard Allen entitled "Ambitions and Rivalries in South Northants" and this covers the proposed lines that might have been built over the years. It seems mainly to cover the lines proposed by the constituents of the SMJ, and there are some really outlandish schemes - perhaps dreamt up by somebody using substances with mind-enhancing properties......who knows? All these plans are lodged in various Record Offices.

Robin

Views: 161

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

In all parts of the country the "lines that might have been" would crowd each other out on the map.

Lines that turned out to be rural branch lines once enticed investors with ambitions to get to docks, ports, coalfields etc.

As for the SMJ I think there were fairly serious proposals to have a direct line from Northampton (by-passing Blisworth and crossing the LNWR main line). I suppose that may have been a good idea. On the other hand in many parts of the country lines like that which shortened distances and avoided reversals have been removed in later years.
I may have posted this before but a proposed E -W route to the north of the SMJ that was only partially built was designed to run from CAmbridge and/ or Bedford through Northampton/ Weedon/ Davwentry and on to the west. The first proposal was about 1840 (something0 that was built as far as Northampton and then run from the site of the original Northampton Station. to the east of London Road crossing onwards to the west through Bugbrooke, Heyford and Weedon to Daventry and beyond. Amended proposals later in the 19th C were to project westwards from Northampton St Johns station, (which was built on a truncated embankment/ viaduct for this purpose) on a viaduct across the the lines from Northampton Castle station and the Duston flood plain towards Bugbrooke and Heyford on a slightly amended route to the original proposals. The route would then have crossed the WCML just tothe north of Weedon and joine the Weedon to Daventry/ Leamington line which was of course built. The missing link therefore being the Northampton to Weedon section.
If built it is interesting to consider what the effect would have been on the SMJ - would it have ever been built?
When I get some time I intend tp write this up and maybe do a presentation on it - if I do I will keep you posted.
Regards
Dave HAyward
Peter Fleming said:
In all parts of the country the "lines that might have been" would crowd each other out on the map.

Lines that turned out to be rural branch lines once enticed investors with ambitions to get to docks, ports, coalfields etc.

As for the SMJ I think there were fairly serious proposals to have a direct line from Northampton (by-passing Blisworth and crossing the LNWR main line). I suppose that may have been a good idea. On the other hand in many parts of the country lines like that which shortened distances and avoided reversals have been removed in later years.
There was indeed a proposal for a flyover at Blisworth to take the Northampton & Banbury Junction across the L&NWR main line, and in fact an Act of Parliament was obtained giving powers to do so. I have seen a copy of this Act, but evidently finances were to constrained to do anything about it. Had such a crossing been made there would have been a much better chance of utilising the running powers that the N&BJ had into Northampton and of making a direct connection with the Midland Railway. It would not then have been so urgent to build the towcest to Olney line. A useful passenger traffic could have been developed between Northampton, Towcester and Banbury which the existing arrangement did nothing to encourage. Passengers had to change at Blisworth, make connection via a subway and then wait for a connecting train. This was because, quite naturally the L&NWR and later the LMS did not want the West Coast Main Line blocked by trains crossing over on the level.

Another propsal, about 1878, which I am trying to find information about was for a branch to "Stoke Bruerne Wharf". I presume this would have left the Olney line somewhere near Stoke Bruerne Station and descended a sharp gradient to the canal near Stoke top lock. It would have served a corn mill, a brickworks and a canal interchange basin. The proposal was dropped even before the Bill went to Parliament, but it would have opened interesting possiblities, especially with interchange traffic, giving some canal carriers access to Bedford and eastern areas that were inaccessible by canal from the main system.

David Blagrove said:
Peter Fleming said:
In all parts of the country the "lines that might have been" would crowd each other out on the map.

Lines that turned out to be rural branch lines once enticed investors with ambitions to get to docks, ports, coalfields etc.

As for the SMJ I think there were fairly serious proposals to have a direct line from Northampton (by-passing Blisworth and crossing the LNWR main line). I suppose that may have been a good idea. On the other hand in many parts of the country lines like that which shortened distances and avoided reversals have been removed in later years.
There is a web page with a sketch of the 1865 proposals:


The N&BJR did have running powers to Northampton, but they never used them. I can presume that the access charges would have been too great, and can well imagine that the LNWR would not have been happy to have trains crossing their busy main line.

Had such a line been built, it would logically have connected with the Midland at St. Johns, and possibly this would have resulted in the MR buying the whole network. However, the LNWR would have tried to block it, and probably the GWR, too (as the Midland would then be in direct control of a route from Bristol docks to London.)

We shall never know!

Simon
I shall try to get the link working...

...having failed to get the "automated" link to post, here it is as text (which apparently works):
http://www.blisworth.org.uk/images/Railways/link-track.htm

Regularity said:
There is a web page with a sketch of the 1865 proposals:
The N&BJR did have running powers to Northampton, but they never used them. I can presume that the access charges would have been too great, and can well imagine that the LNWR would not have been happy to have trains crossing their busy main line. Had such a line been built, it would logically have connected with the Midland at St. Johns, and possibly this would have resulted in the MR buying the whole network. However, the LNWR would have tried to block it, and probably the GWR, too (as the Midland would then be in direct control of a route from Bristol docks to London.)

We shall never know!

Simon
The flyover (if built) would presumably have connected the SMJ to the Blisworth to Northampton LNWR line. Surely there would not have been an independent line to Northampton.

So the SMJ would be linked to the LNWR not the MR. St Johns station (MR) was a terminus and the MR and LNWR systems were totally seperate apart from a connection at Hardingstone Junction. This allowed running from St Johns to Wellingborough (to re connect with the MR).

After 1923 the connection was reversed to allow running from Bedford on to the LNWR stations (and closure of St Johns).

So prior to 1923 through running from the SMJ on to the Midland would need reversals.

Regularity said:
There is a web page with a sketch of the 1865 proposals:


The N&BJR did have running powers to Northampton, but they never used them. I can presume that the access charges would have been too great, and can well imagine that the LNWR would not have been happy to have trains crossing their busy main line.

Had such a line been built, it would logically have connected with the Midland at St. Johns, and possibly this would have resulted in the MR buying the whole network. However, the LNWR would have tried to block it, and probably the GWR, too (as the Midland would then be in direct control of a route from Bristol docks to London.)

We shall never know!

Simon
The 1865 proposal was to join the LNWR.

The later (1872) proposals were for a separate line, to connect directly at St. Johns, which was obviously designed to be easily converted into a through station.

My grandfather travelled on excursions to Bristol from Northampton sometime in the 20s and/or 30s, and these used to start from St. Johns. Sadly, he died before I was old enough to know enough to ask questions about the route - did they head to Olney, and reverse direction there and head across to Towcester, or back out of St. Johns and head up to Blisworth?

St. Johns remained in use until the late 1930s: there is plenty of documentary evidence to support this. (Cannot remember off-hand if it was 38 or 39, but it was close to the start of WWII.)

Peter Fleming said:
The flyover (if built) would presumably have connected the SMJ to the Blisworth to Northampton LNWR line. Surely there would not have been an independent line to Northampton.

So the SMJ would be linked to the LNWR not the MR. St Johns station (MR) was a terminus and the MR and LNWR systems were totally seperate apart from a connection at Hardingstone Junction. This allowed running from St Johns to Wellingborough (to re connect with the MR).

After 1923 the connection was reversed to allow running from Bedford on to the LNWR stations (and closure of St Johns).

So prior to 1923 through running from the SMJ on to the Midland would need reversals.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2022   Created by Andy Thompson.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service