‘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

Footage of the SMJR

Hello, I found your forum searching for the SMJR. I've just uploaded a digitised version of old cine film footage of the line to my Youtube channel. I will be selling the original Hillside cine film soon along with a few others I've collected…Continue

Started by G Essex Random Railways on Monday.

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.

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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The level crossing you're describing was on the WCML, but George's grandad's was on the Blisworth - Peterborough line where it crossed the old Banbury Lane and was called 'Rothersthorpe Road Crossing'. It was Northampton side of Rothersthorpe and was where there's an S bend just before the canal bridge ( Northampton branch of GU canal) coming out of town. Confusingly there another canal bridge ( main GU canal) next to 'your' Banbury Lane crossing where incidentally I used to spot in the 50s. ( Coros, Scots, Pats and Jubs were the main fare then). George's grandad's crossing disappeared in the 60s I think, although part of the line leading towards it survived longer as some sort of test facility for track maintainance. There's a picture of a Class 40 crossing it in 'Steam Images around Northamptonshire' on the same page as another one of 'your' Banbury Lane crossing.


Gary said:

George - yes it was Banbury Lane - went there myself to spot many a time when living at home watching the 80 series electrics whizz past. Also went in the box a few times as Dad knew the Signalman. Great times - it didn't half move when the trains hurtled through


It can get really confusing can't it?



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