‘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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Date Unknown - anyone help?

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Comment by Andy Thompson on September 19, 2010 at 17:04

Alwyn has the answer!
Comment by Barry Taylor on September 17, 2010 at 15:58
The picture was first published - as far as I am aware - in the book 'Vintage Album' by J E Kite, Roundhouse Books 1966. He attributes it to W H C Kelland, and states that it was taken 'just prior to the First World War '. He also says that although the loco was allocated LMS 290 in 1923 it was withdrawn without carrying it - although he does say that he has a faint recollection of once seeing an 'official' style photo with this number - has anyone ever seen this?
Comment by Si Donal on September 17, 2010 at 11:37
This picture features on Page 108 of Riley and Simpson's book of the SMJ. On that copy, the painted letters SMJ are clearly visible. The picture is listed in the "Kelland Collection" so if anyone has access to that other details may be available. The loco also appears very clearly on Page 145 of the same book in it's E&W guise complete with tender nameplate, unpolished smokebox door hinges and I assume blue livery. In the above picture No13 does look very dark in this picture, darker than the crimson coach behind and so it is easy to assume a black livery. Simon Dunkley indicates that the RCH post 1916) headcode is for a stopping train rather than an express but I guess that it is just as likely that the SMJ might utilise it's "express loco" on ordinary trains too, For my money therefore a post WW1/later period of the SMJ seem more likely. Superb picture!
Comment by Simon Dunkley on September 16, 2010 at 20:03
It is possible to just make out the letter SMJ on the tender, which helps us narrow it down slightly - the tonal variations, or lack of them, suggest an all-black loco rather than blue, which reinforces that this is post-restructuring of the finances.
The coaches are in order, ex-EWJR composite, the ex-GER hound van, and an ex-MR 3rd, so the photo is 1912 at the earliest based on the purchase of the latter in that year. The position of the headcode lamp is the old EWJR code for Blisworth to Stratford, alternatively the RCH code for a stopping passenger train but this would be an express on the SMJR, and the RCH codes were not adopted until 1916, so, we can narrow it down to 1912-1916, and I would guess from the way the loco looks newly overhauled (polished hinges and buffers, no burnt paintwork on the smokebox door) that it is more likely to be earlier in that time frame. If we knew the photographer, then maybe we could tie it into a specific visit by said person. Probably not taken during war time, either. It appears to be summer from the foliage, and I am not sure when in 1912 the MR low-roof bogie third was delivered. I believe that the summer of 1914 was a hot one, and something about the photo suggests a hot summer's day, so I would go for 1914, but it could be two years either side...
Comment by Andy Thompson on September 15, 2010 at 20:34
Happy times! Oh for a time machine! (see the forum) Andy
Comment by David Ford on September 14, 2010 at 10:37
What a wonderful photo.

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