‘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

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.


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

  • Add Photos
  • View All
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.

Views: 461

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion


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?



Reply to Discussion


© 2021   Created by Andy Thompson.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service