‘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

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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I have finally located the Train Register Book from Towcester box... I'll upload more if there is interest..

https://thesmjr.ning.com/photo/dsc02503?context=album&albumId=3...

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Yes please. Be good to see such information.
Thanks for everything so far.

Thanks for this Richard - it's particularly fascinating for me as on 21st July that year I was at Towcester and took a couple of photos of the station. But more to the point I went to Blisworth one evening a few days later (27th) looking for the last of the 'Duchesses' on the main line, and saw 46245 City of London. Whilst standing there I was very surprised to hear something approaching down the SMJ - most unexpected ! It turned out to be a tender first 8F 2-8-0 on a train full of old track - obviously one of the evening return trips shown in your register. Now I know just what it was .............!

What was going on at Towcester around the dates covered by the register? Clearly the box is open for there to be a register at all. I have followed some of the days right through at it appears there are a couple of trains there at the same time. Was quarrying still taking place? How much of the closed lines around remained in place? Are all these moves train lifting trains?

Barry,

Unfortunately I can't make out the writing on the log book photo. Did you make a note of the 8Fs number or more specifically allocation? All the track lifting trains that I saw were heading towards Woodford West and hauled by Woodford 8Fs. I'm wondering if Northampton was also providing 8Fs and crews and lifting track out towards Blisworth at the same time as Woodford was clearing the track. A further thought is, was track lifted by WR trains from the Stratford end?
Dick



Barry Taylor said:

Thanks for this Richard - it's particularly fascinating for me as on 21st July that year I was at Towcester and took a couple of photos of the station. But more to the point I went to Blisworth one evening a few days later (27th) looking for the last of the 'Duchesses' on the main line, and saw 46245 City of London. Whilst standing there I was very surprised to hear something approaching down the SMJ - most unexpected ! It turned out to be a tender first 8F 2-8-0 on a train full of old track - obviously one of the evening return trips shown in your register. Now I know just what it was .............!

Dick

Unfortunately I didn't record the number of the 8F - I remember it caught me by surprise and had gone under the bridge and away into the sidings, and I didn't bother to chase it down towards the station to find out.

However, the detail on the register photo which I've managed to enlarge shows that the trains listed at Towcester were all going to, and coming from, the Ravenstone line - so it was the lifting of that line that was in progress and not the line on towards Woodford - I'm sure that you are right about that part being done from the Woodford end and not Northampton.

A typical entry in the register (Weds 5th Aug) shows signalman Hooper booking on at 6.45am-15 wagons to Ravenstone branch 7.45 - train off branch 1.30pm - light engine to Blisworth 1.55 - train to Ravenstone 2.15 - 20 loads to Blisworth 7.35 (which would be the train that I saw) - signalman off duty 8.00pm

On other days there is mention of the train being 'ex Blisworth' in the morning but they don't seem to have bothered recording that every time - obviously getting a bit demob happy towards the end then !

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