‘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.

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Morton Pinkney




The East & West Junction railway (E&W) proposed a new line from a junction with the Northampton & Banbury Junction Railway at Greens Norton to Stratford Upon Avon. In 1864 Lady Palmerson came and cut the first sod. The E&W became a part of the SMJ in January 1st, 1909.


Morton Pinkney

Woodford Halse


Fenny Compton

BurtonDassett/Edgehill Light



Stratford Upon Avon




Morton Pinkney

A station at Morton Pinkney finally came to be when the East & West Junction Railway (E&WJR) pushed on from Kineton to Greens Norton. Their plan was to create a line from the Northampton & Banbury Junction railway at Greens Norton to Stratford Upon Avon.

Find more photos like this on "The Unofficial SMJ Society" at www.smj.me

Find more photos like this on "The Unofficial SMJ Society" at www.smj.me

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Comment by Andy Thompson on June 11, 2009 at 21:13
Memories of Morton Pinkney

I moved to Moreton Pinkney in 1986. My parents house was on the Canons Ashby Road at the bottom of which was the old bridge that crossed the trackbed of the old SMJ line. I took it upon myself to read about it and I once had a glorious two weeks of access to the Jordan treatise on the subject.

I used to walk the dog along the line in both directions. On the rear of the platform was an old Box Van (I am 90% sure it was a midland type) and it was in a sad state. The platforms were still there too as well a a few bits of fencing still extant. The base of the station was clearly visible.

In the Towcester direction was a mile marker cast in concrete (? LMS) and also a few gradient markers. At the crossing used by the local hunt was the base of a wooden cottage and a raised platform, at solebar height wheich was for the transhipment of milk from farmcarts to railway wagons.

Our neighbours were a Mrs Della and a Mr Les Pratt who had lived in the village all their married life (Della was born there) and knowing my interest in railways and local history told of many stories of the local station.

During WW2 the bridge was apparently hit by an Army Universal Carrier (a Bren Gun Carrier) causing brickwork to fall onto the rails and delaying the first train of the day. When I looked at the bridge, I saw a section of mortar in the centre of the parapet which tallied with the story. The bridge was an odd mix of red brick, blue brick and ironstone, probably repaired over the years on many occasions. Indeed it was demolished ( as was teh GCR bridge on the other side of the village) to allow heavy Heygates Flour lorries to use the B4525.

The crossing house, the base of which I alluded to earlier was apparently used only for the local hunt. I feel that this is dubious although the brick base was there and there was also no other habitation in that area. There is a story of the hounds crossing the line and then following the scent down the line towards Towcester. How the situation was rectified was not clear to me, probably it was a local yarn.

The signalman was for some time a Mr Les Hawtin, known to Mr & Mrs Pratt. After the war, Mr Pratt was de-mobbed from the RA and worked up at Culworth Junction Signal Box on the GCR line and from his lofty position on the embankment could see the "little" locomotives heading up to woodford with 1 coach trains or lengthy freights.

There was a weekly cattle market in the village, held at the rear of the Red Lion pub (known as Englands Rose in recent years). The textured brick floor of the market is still theer and the cattle and sheep once sold, were walked doen the road ( about 3/4 of a mile) to a field adjacent to the station whereupon a special train would be brought in to take the livestock away.

I also used to walk the other direction to Woodford Halse also. I was always confused by all the lines converging and it is only now that I fully understand it.

Mr & Mrs Pratt had a very faded photograph of the station in edwardian times with many passengers in their Sunday best, awaiting a train the the Towcester Direction. How I wished that I had asked for that photograph but I was too polite. I guess it is lost to time now.

In honour of the kindness of Mr and Mrs Pratt, have often hankered to build an n gauge model of the station perhaps as part of a larger model railway. locomotives have always been a problem but there is now a manufacturer of the typical locomotives of the 1930s. If there is any research and progress, I will put it here.

Thank you for the site which I have visited often and is a mine of information.

Si Donal
Comment by Si Donal on June 10, 2009 at 18:18
In 1904 the Railway Clearing House listed Morton Pinkney as having facilities for passengers, parcels, furniture vans, carriages, portable engines & other machines on wheels, livestock, horseboxes and prize cattle vans. It was also the local telegraph office.

There was only one goods siding to accommodate these facilities. There was a grounded van body on the Stratford bound platform for staorage of goods, there being no goods shed. There was a cattledock backing onto the Stratford platform and an end loading dock on the siding. A loading gauge ensured that the loads would not foul the bridges or lineside structures. There is a good picture of these facilities in the book "Pigs and Paupers" an anthology of Moreton Pinkney life. I have photocopies for personal use so sadly cannot publish.
Comment by Dick Bodily on April 23, 2009 at 20:59
The actual village's name is spelt Moreton Pinkney yet all the railway companies that operated the station misspelt it as Morton Pinkney and no one seemed to notice. After all there were few passengers. The site of the station is midway between Moreton Pinkney and Canons Ashby

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