‘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

2F WDs working to Bristol

In the 1950s/60s we had a regular working of a 2F Woodford Halse WD to Bristol. I was always intrigued by how they got there. Does anybody know if that was via the SMJR please?Continue

Started by Bob Bishop on Friday.

Talk to Welford Local History Society

I live in Welford on Avon which now incorporates the former Binton Station with its recent housing development.The local history society is currently planning its 2022/23 programme of events and talks and would be keen to include a talk on the…Continue

Started by John Read Oct 8.

Broom Junction station site for sale 2 Replies

Great opportunity for an SMJ enthusiast perhaps.  I'm not sure what you could actually do with this site though!…Continue

Started by Simon Stevens. Last reply by Simon Stevens Oct 4.

Salvaged track bolts 2 Replies

Does any know if the bridges were numbered? Similar to how the canals number thier's. Because a few weeks ago I was magnet fishing under the if I bridge behind the bellebaulk housing estate in Towcester and pulled out a number of chair bolts and I…Continue

Started by John Godwin. Last reply by Russ Firth Oct 3.

SMJ photos

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towcester station

April 1950
and June 1953

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Comment by adrian vaughan on September 3, 2009 at 18:48
Hello Gary,
Thanks for your very close dating - thanks to the famous'Cooke Book'.
Those views of Towcester are the only ones I have.

Comment by Barry Taylor on September 3, 2009 at 15:27
From other photos that I have, it would appear that your final shot is dated somewhere between June 1956 and 27th June 1957 - the three doll bracket signal lost one of its arms during that period. Reference to R A Cooke's Track Layout Diagrams shows a'new layout' as from 30/12/1956 so that is probably the answer - it involved removing one of the through platform lines and a rearranged track and signalling layout
Incidentally, the small wooden hut shown to the left of the view was rumoured to be the signal cabin removed from Greens Norton Junction when the two lines to Blakesley and Cockley Brake were changed to operate as two parallel single lines from Towcester, instead of a physical junction at G Norton. I don't know whether this is fact or fiction, but it does look like a signal cabin - if so it had been there for a long time ! I photographed it in closer detail around 1964 so it probably lasted right through to the end.
Comment by Dick Bodily on September 2, 2009 at 16:06

Great set of pictures, did you take them yourself? Can't help with the date of the last picture, but pretty certain that the train with the flag was taken on Coronation Day June 1953( not 52). The Banbury line had already been closed, so this train must be working the old EWJR route. Strange that the engine hasn't been turned. There was a weekday schools service to Byfield which was usually 2 coaches (the second coach usually being left at Blisworth the rest of the day) and may have been pulled tender first as it was a shorter journey, I'm too young to remember such details although I did travel on the SMJ as a small child. Perhaps it ran on Coronation Day with just one coach as there wouldn't ahve been any schoolchildren. Looks like a 3F, they were preferred to 4Fs by most Northampton and Blisworth (signing on point) crewsfor SMJR services. Note the LMS headed noticeboards and hawkeye totem.

Comment by adrian vaughan on September 2, 2009 at 14:55
The signal box, station ext. and stn.plat without train I know are 4/1950. The view with a train would seem to be Coronation time so say 6/52. I would like some expert person to put an approximate date to the final view.

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