‘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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After I'd posted myt comment on 'Slow, Moulding and Jolting', I saw the other entries and realised that local people had got other names for the line. Whilst is seems clear that they do not have a poetic ear, I bow to local knowledge and humbly accept that locally it was known as the Slow Miserable and Jolty. In the University City of Oxford it was named as I put it. I always thought it was a wonderfully mysterious railway and very romantic. The LMS ran express goods over it from St. Panctas to Bristol!. All these old contractor's ines, built as cheaply as possible but yet foll;owing very useful cross-country courses, were failures commercially but wonderfully evocative and generally magic. The King's Sutton Junction to Andoversford Jc line through Stow-on-the-Wold, the Midland & South Western Junction from Andoversford Jc to Andover (and Southampton) marvellous railways. My friend SId Mumford, born about 1920, was very keen on the SMJ and was very attracted to Cockley Brake Jc. for its remoteness which is magicalness. He was a Special Class signalman at Oxford. Great railways, great people, great days.

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Adrian
Don't worry! We like a nice SMJ debate here! You drop as many bomb-shells as you like, you're just helping to keep the memory of the SMJ alive!
Andy
Andy Thompson said:
Adrian
Don't worry! We like a nice SMJ debate here! You drop as many bomb-shells as you like, you're just helping to keep the memory of the SMJ alive!
Andy
Adrian

According to Peter's researches it was known as your version by an old lady from Stratford as well.

All the best

Dick
Dick said:
Adrian

According to Peter's researches it was known as your version by an old lady from Stratford as well.

All the best

Dick
adrian vaughan said:
Dick said:
Adrian

According to Peter's researches it was known as your version by an old lady from Stratford as well.

All the best

Dick
That's what we want to hear Adrian. You must have a million railway stories - if you can dig out some SMJ ones (or dig out some from others by starting a debate) then carry on!!

Andy
Speaking of the magicalness of the SMJ, my source wrote that ..."it was a slow line"!! In fact, she said, it was so slow that whilst the train was in motion , you could get out, pick moon- daisies at the side of the track, and get back on again!!
Peter S Lewis said:
Speaking of the magicalness of the SMJ, my source wrote that ..."it was a slow line"!! In fact, she said, it was so slow that whilst the train was in motion , you could get out, pick moon- daisies at the side of the track, and get back on again!!
adrian vaughan said:
Peter S Lewis said:
Speaking of the magicalness of the SMJ, my source wrote that ..."it was a slow line"!! In fact, she said, it was so slow that whilst the train was in motion , you could get out, pick moon- daisies at the side of the track, and get back on again!!
In Stratford it was often also known as The Slow, Mournful Journey. (Usually by staff employed by its larger neighbour the GWR but I won't mention the Gas Works!). In the fifties and sixties I also heard it called the "Smudge".
In and around West Northants, Towcester and Blakesley, some 60 yrs ago the SMJ was often referred to as the Save Me Jesus - perhaps a bit non pc by todays standards!
I like that one a lot - best ever.

A.

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