‘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

2F WDs working to Bristol

In the 1950s/60s we had a regular working of a 2F Woodford Halse WD to Bristol. I was always intrigued by how they got there. Does anybody know if that was via the SMJR please?Continue

Started by Bob Bishop Oct 15.

Talk to Welford Local History Society

I live in Welford on Avon which now incorporates the former Binton Station with its recent housing development.The local history society is currently planning its 2022/23 programme of events and talks and would be keen to include a talk on the…Continue

Started by John Read Oct 8.

Broom Junction station site for sale 2 Replies

Great opportunity for an SMJ enthusiast perhaps.  I'm not sure what you could actually do with this site though!…Continue

Started by Simon Stevens. Last reply by Simon Stevens Oct 4.

Salvaged track bolts 2 Replies

Does any know if the bridges were numbered? Similar to how the canals number thier's. Because a few weeks ago I was magnet fishing under the if I bridge behind the bellebaulk housing estate in Towcester and pulled out a number of chair bolts and I…Continue

Started by John Godwin. Last reply by Russ Firth Oct 3.

SMJ photos

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A close analysis of the 1945 RAF aerial photographs available in the historical imagery resource on Google Earth has provided evidence that Ravenstone Wood was probably a three-way junction during the latter part of WW2 and for an unknown period of time afterwards. Trains approaching from Bedford would have been faced with the SMJ to the left, Northampton straight ahead and a line into WD (later MOD) Yardley Chase explosives depot to the left. It would appear that this latter line was a secondary connection to the principal connection to the depot at Piddington Station.

From the photographs I have attached it seems to indicate that the 'Ravenstone' connection extended from the main line to the north-east across a field where some reception sidings were sited before turning to the east to join the main military network through the extended siding of the nearest storage shed. This latter arrangement would have been most unusual to allow 'through' trains by a storage shed considering the fire risk from sparks emanating from a WD 0-6-0 saddle tank! I believe second connections at these depots, although Kineton never had one (or did it?), were to ensure that the depot would keep working if one junction was taken out by enemy action.

Does anybody have further information  on this, maybe i have missed previous discussions etc on this intriguing subject!

Dave Hayward

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I wrote an article on Ravenstone Wood Jcn that appeared in the Midland Railway Society Journal No.58 (Summer 2015) which dealt (briefly) with the Yardley Chase Munitions Depot. The Piddington connection was announced as opening on 23rd April 1942. The connection at the Ravenstone Wood Jcn end was dated as opening 23rd October 1942 described "new sidings for construction purposes up side opposite box and connection into up line".  

The Fortnightly Notices for 2nd December 1944 state:

"Ravenstone Wood Jcn - temporary connection from contractor's siding to up line removed".

Finally on 7th October 1945 "Ravenstone Wood Jcn - trailing connection up siding to up line removed". 

Unfortunately we don't have all the Train Registers from RWJ for this period but there are 4 entries in 1944 mentioning the siding before it was disconnected.

Regards,

Robin Cullup

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