‘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

Binton station plans 2 Replies

Hi!I recently discovered this article on Binton station building in the now long defunct magazine ‘Model Railways’ from 1976. It includes a full plan which might encourage someone to model this simple station.Does anyone have access to, or know of a…Continue

Started by Martin Bromage. Last reply by Martin Bromage May 8.

Black & White photos of the SMJ 1 Reply

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. Last reply by Peter S Lewis Mar 29.

Station Masters

Stationmasters_Revised_January_2022.xlsxChris Hillyard on the Facebook Group "Railways Of Northamptonshire and…Continue

Started by Graham Ward Feb 7.

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 Jan 21.

SMJ photos

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have trod much of the Eastern end track bed and have visited Stoke Bruerne station.Is it still empty and derelict?If so what a waste!Ravenstone Junction has now almost disappeared under vegetation and soon there will be nothing of the SMJ left.Is the track still down at the Western end?Ihave never visited that.Are there ANY stations still complete?Apart from Stoke Bruerne I dont know of one

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Hi Richard,

There are various signs left of the old line. Mostly bridges and earthworks but if you trawl through the photos you will see that Wappenham, Fenny Compton and Blakesley all have plaforms still in place off the top of my head. Not to mention Stratford itself. Most of these are just a single platform face. There are pictures of me stood on Towcesters platform back in 1996 but these are no more having been demolished when they built Tescos.
I believe Stoke Bruerne is a domestic residence now. Again I think it is pictured here somewhere.

Hi Richard
I've looked at almost all of the line over the last 9 months or so, and as you state most of it is quickly disappearing - best to go in winter when the undergrowth still lets you see a few bits and pieces. Places like Cockley Brake, and Woodford West (now a nature reserve) are worth a look when the vegetation has died down. As for complete stations - Binton is the only other one - this now is in use as (I think) a office / conference centre for a gas company, and is surrounded by fences. However the station buildings, and the adjacent goods shed, are still largely intact and in very good condition.

The platform is still there at Salcey Forest, with the odd four-arm telegraph pole still standing amongst the trees where the platform is.

Binton station building still exists, as does the signalbox at Broom Junction's south spur. Stratford's up platform is just about visible from the ring road. Small parts of the down platform end and cattle ramp still exist at Byfield, while part of the west end ramp of Blakesley's up platform still exists in someone's garden and is visible from the road bridge. It's strange how evidence remains of the little used stations at Stoke and Salcey Forest, similarly the bridge over the GC to E&WJR Woodford south spur which was only in use for a month or two still remains very much intact but then to replace any of the three bridges on Eydon Road would involve huge embankments. 

What would be of use would be if between us we could list the SMJ bridges that are still partially or completely intact or identify those that have disappeared. Several SMJ and also GC bridges have disappeared especially around Moreton / Woodford/ Byfield probably as a result of fears of collapse after a heavy lorry collapsed the Muddy Lane bridge at Byfield.

Ettington is still largely intact too. The station has been extended and the goods shed is still there as is the platform (see the Line Tour album)

I agree Dick I think a survey of sorts would be good. We can then have an accurate record of the line as she is today.

We have forgotten about HELMDON. Although the station has been demolished, there is still the GOODS SHED, STATION MASTERS HOUSE, and a roofless brick built goods office and a weighbridge building.

The platforms are still intact but heavily overgrown, and the lamp room beneath the bridge can still be entered.

Almost without doubt the most enduring memorial to the East & West and its successors has got to be the Avon bridge at Stratford. Although it has been strengthend and modified by the LMS, BR and the Highways Agency over the years, from most photo viewpoints it looks much the same as it did when it was first built. Perhaps a memorial plaque adjacent to it recognising the legacy the old railway gave the town would be appropriate. During the 1950's & 1960's the local authorities had endless debates over how and where a second Avon road crossing could be located. They could never get a consensus either because of cost or the influence of the "Shakespeare" lobby on the impact such a structure would have on the theatre or parish church. The gracefull arches of the E&WJR bridge complement the area. Just imagine what sort of steel / concrete bridge would have been put there in the 1970's if the railway had not already done the job for them 100 years previously. As many of you have stated the only station building to survive virtually intact without modern additions is the ER&SJR structure at Binton. There is a danger that this could be lost and lobbying to "list" it might be appropriate. The signal box at Broom West has defied the efforts of vandals because it was designed to defeat the efforts of Hitler! Why the LMS were instructed by the wartime Railway Executive to provided a class one ARP structure in the middle of rural Warwickshire is a mystery when the complementary box at Broom East was a second hand Midland Railway timber one!! There has been a review of signal boxes by English Heritage in recent times because so many of the remaining ones will go for ever in the latest national railway planning for "super" signal centres. The review did allegedly cover disused but still extant boxes, I wonder if they considered Broom West because until someone tells me otherwise I cannot think of any other remaining small ARP box anywhere.

The platform is still almost totally intact at Salcey Forest

Took a walk around Stoke Bruerne today  . Posted some pictures of the station as it is today. I believe it's used as a farmhouse nowadays.Click the info button when viewing and it'll give you some detail.


Hi Richard.

Is it possible...and legal... to take a walk there nowadays. If so what's the best route to take?

Richard Woods said:

The platform is still almost totally intact at Salcey Forest

It is possible and easy to walk, not overgrown. Strictly speaking, the trackbed is property of the farmer, but you won't get into any bother if you bump into him, he allowed my to continue. To get there, travel to the end of Forest Road, Piddington, when you reach the farm which is the end of the road. Head up the bridleway towards bridge 171, but before you reach it, head off along the bridleway by the side of the electric fence surrounding the horses, then proceed onto the trackbed. You'll see what I mean when you get there! Access is easy and the line is clearly visible.


Richard Woods

Thanks for the info Richard. I'll take a trip there in the next few weeks. I only live about two miles away.

I'll take my camera along for the ride too.

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