‘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 Jul 28.

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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The Railway Enthusiasts Club ran a rail tour on April 24, 1955, under the headboard The South Midlander. It came on to the S&MJR at Fenny Compton and went through to Broom, stopping at most of the stations for photo-ops. From Broom it went on the MR line to Evesham, then via Moreton-in-Marsh back to Oxford. I have just got some photos from that tour from Stations UK to use in my 'Lost Railways of Warwickshire' book. The last passenger train to use the line was a SLS rail tour in April 1965.

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Hi chaps,

You know when you flick through an old book on a stall & think I'll buy that then realise when you get it home it has something of real interest that you didn't see on flick through?
I've had one of those.
At Heywood Model Railway exhibition today I picked up a book called "Specials in Steam" by Brian Stephenson & Patrick Russell published by Ian Allen in 1968 & in it there are pictures of the SMJR railtours in their own sections.
It has:

a) GWR Dukedog 4-4-0 No.9015 (with 4 on) approaching Stratford on a REC "South Midlander" railtour 24 March 55.

b) GWR 61xx 2-6-2T No. 6111 (with 4 on) heading east from Kineton on another REC charter dated 14 September 1963.

c) MR 3F 0-6-0 No. 43222 (with at least 4 on - all Gresleys in B&C) approaching Broom on the SLS "SMJR" tour dated 29 April 1956. Train reporting code "M500". **

d) LNER B12/3 4-6-0 No. 61572 (with 8 on - Gresley buffet(?) at 4) passing Gayton Sidings at Blisworth working the M&GNJRPS "Wandering 1500" on 5 October 1963. Train reporting code looks like "1A69"

e) SR U 2-6-0 No. 31639 & SR Q1 0-6-0 No. 33006 (with 6 on - look all to be BR Mk.1's) on HCRS "Six Counties" at Ettington dated 7 March 1965 and finally...

f) LMS 4F 0-6-0 No.44188 (with 8 on) on the SLS special last train over the SMJR dated 24 April 1965.

** there is also a picture of 73099 at Kenilworth on the return part of this trip.

Picture credits are:
a, b and c: T. E. Williams
d, e and f: Patrick Russell

I just had to share it with you.

The Wandering 1500 headcode was 1X69 Andy.
. . . and the Saturday following the Wandering 1500 railtour, the LCGB Thames, Avon, Severn Railtour headed down the SMJ double-headed away from Woodford Halse hauled by a GWR 2-6-0 and GWR 0-6-0. The special had arrived at Woodford with the preserved LSWR T9 and a U class 2-6-0. In case it is important to anyone, the loco headcode on that occasion was 0X46.
RAILWAY BYLINES featured a number of pictures of teh SMJ in it's recent editions including (as many pictures were on scantily used lines) pics of the railtours. I will offer you references when I find those magazines in my shed.

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