‘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

Video: Stratford-upon-Avon to Towcester

I have added a video to the site's video page.https://youtu.be/DHCoijWc_t0Continue

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Started by Graham Ward Jul 28.

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.

SMJ photos

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I was visiting Towcester Museum this week dropping off some artefacts for their SMJ exhibition this summer. This is an excellent museum, but they need more SMJ items to make a proper exhibition. I have loaned them a weight restriction sign, 'Beware of Trains' sign, sign from Towcester station, number takers' book from Woodfrod West Jct and Bill Steele's rule book from Byfield. But they need more If you can help, please give them a call on 01327 352662. Andy has already mentioned this, but it's worth a reminder I think.
I am on BBC Radio Northampton on Tuesday May 31 talking about the SMJ at 2 p.m. I will be recalling SMJ stories from my book 'Last Rites.'

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Any update on when this exhibition may be happening? Nothing on the museum website that I can see. 

They also wanted my exhibition layout of Towcester which I agreed to loan.
I've heard nothing more despite the fact they wanted it in early June.
( the layout is a "what if" scenario as it's based in the 1970's as if the line remained open to Banbury as a cross country diversion route)
We used many of John Evans photos as reference points.

Thanks John. I shall keep watching this space. If it's the one I'm thinking of then I saw your layout in one of the modelling mags some while back and thought it was a great concept. If only...

Hi Paul, the museum has contacted me and stated that things had "slid".
They are now looking at mid August until the end of the year for the SMJ exhibits to be in place.
And yes Paul the layout appeared in Rail Express and BRM Magazines.
Confirmation that Towcester layout will be installed in Towcester Museum on Mondsy August 15th.
It will be on display along with many other SMJ artefacts for at least 6 months.

That's excellent news John. Thanks for letting me know. I will look forwards to visiting the museum at some point.

FURTHER MORE URGENT APPEAL TO ALL.  I have also taken artifacts for display in the exhibition but, they desperately require more and especially assistance in preparing descriptive comment.  Unfortunately I am fully committed with other rail preservation events for at least a week or so. To find out how you may assist please contact Emily at Towcester Museum 01327 352662.  Many of you will have something to offer so please if you possibly can just ring or call in and ask.  Many thanks, Dave Chambers.

An update for you on the exhibition

Rob has been in contact with me saying they are nearly ready with the exhibition at the museum. He was unable to give me a date but he did hint it would be launching soon and they'd like to run it for about 8 months. He also added that he'd still love it if anyone had any small artefacts they might want to loan the museum for the display. He did say he'd love to get his hands on a uniform, the have a very cold, naked mannequin looking for some clothing! (preferably with an SMJ/LMS slant!!)

Thanks to all who have given already and may I say, we really need to support the exhibition and go and visit it once its open. Watch this space for a start date

Thanks again


I have a couple of photos and a Map - but nothing special I don't think - do you think they would want those?

I also have loaned the Museum for 6monthseveral SMJ items,incl three key signal tokens for the line,a Towcester station ticket prices sheet 1920s,a 'Beware' sign,,lots of luggage labels,and flyers from over 100 years ago,paperwork,carriage print(Hamilton Ellis - leaving Stratford)and a linen sketch map of the line.So these items should get the exhibition going,Malcolm Ranieri

Finally managed to get to see the exhibition last weekend.
It is a brilliant piece of work folks and I was surprised at some of the exhibits and how such early items of the line's history have survived.
The layout, something I have been hoping to see "in the flesh" for so long was an inspired addition to the exhibition and a lovely case of what "might have been". In saying that who knows if it had lasted longer it may have become a target for a preservation group!

Top job folks.

Thanks Gary, a lot of work was put in on this, I should know.......I was there !!

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