‘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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Unused Wagon Label. Note the final destination is in Yorkshire but the route is not North via Woodford but via the Woodford to Banbury link and thus north from there! A more circitous route than necessary but perhaps the wagon loads were combined with those from the Oxfordshire Ironstone Company at their sidings just north of Banbury. There is much evidence of "block" trains of iron ore in tipplers heading north on the ex GWR line.

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Comment by Dick Bodily on November 15, 2009 at 21:02
Rex Partridge found some like these in the ruins of Byfield station after it was bulldozed.
Comment by Dick Bodily on October 27, 2009 at 16:46
Just occured to me, if Byfield had been supplying the same furnaces back in LNER days, then the wagons would have almost certainly then have travelled north from Woodford. Si's suggestion that perhaps the wagons were combined with others from Oxfordshire makes sense.
Comment by Dick Bodily on October 27, 2009 at 16:30
This wagon would have been picked up by 'The Round the World' trip working from Woodford Yards ( provider of much exotic motive power) taken back to Woodford yards, probably remarshalled into a Banbury Yards bound train although Clive Boardman in has emails did suggest that the 'Round The World' may have also visited Banbury yards itself at some point in its history. At Banbury presumably the wagons would be remarshalled once more before heading north.

This wasn't the only freight that originated on the SMJ and was transferred to the GC at Woodford. Blakesley local historian Doug Blake in his book 'Beside the Crooked Brook' mentions a much earlier link with the Great Central. In pre-grouping days a GC van was attached to the first Blisworth bound train of the day from Stratford in order to pick up all the milk churns as far as Byfield. From there the van would be dispatched to Woodford where it would be attached to a London bound train on behalf of the Express Dairy Company.

Strangely the first train bound for Stratford would pick up churns as least as far as Blakesley and presumably Morton also and take them to Stratford where presumably the GWR took over conveyance. Blakesley, conveniently placed for local dairy farmers ( there were at least 8 dairy farms within 2 miles of the station), handled up to 10 tons of milk per day prior to WWI. After WWI, this traffic was gradually lost to road haulage.
Comment by Andy Thompson on October 27, 2009 at 10:04
Of course Si! We had a strong working relationship with the GC, even tho' they didn't step in save the Olney branch section around the turn of the 20th century!
Fab video clip by the way (Ro-Railer) I looked into buying a copy but too expensive. It's great to see it move!

Comment by Si Donal on October 27, 2009 at 0:28
Hawarden Bridge is near Wrexham so the Ironstone would definately be routed via Banbury and the ex GWR line North.

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