‘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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Can anyone pinpoint the area where this old photograph was taken? The loco has a four figure number on the smokebox door making the view pre-1948.

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Comment by John Jennings on April 16, 2015 at 21:07

Sorry for the delay in reply. Yes I can confirm it is the bridge over the GWR line at Stratford the signal ladder  is indeed that of the S&M Junction starting signal situated in front of the bridge on the down GW line, this same signal became No6 in the frame of the "new" Evesham Road Box after 1960. You can just make out the Stratford (SMJ) lower quadrant starting signal on the far slope that gave the final authority for west bound trains to proceed. That signal actually lasted until the end in 1960! The coach is positioned over the adjacent arched bridge constructed in Grafton stone that spans a footpath to the racecourse. The telegraph pole also lasted until the end with the same number of insulators. I agree with Barry that it is possible that the bricks were evidence of rebuilding and the 1942 activity is logical although wartime photographs were always a risky business. I  favour the LMS strengthening work of the 1920's when a number of bridges including the Avon river one were repaired or strengthened for the banana trains. By 1942 the passenger trains were normally ex MR 3F turns. The conifers in the right distance are in the grounds of the Municipal Burial Ground and they are still there.

Comment by Barry Taylor on April 7, 2015 at 13:29

I'm almost certain that this is the bridge over the GW at Stratford racecourse.

However, it's not the bridge that we know from the 1950's and 1960's shots of the line that we have, which show a lower side girder.

There's a pile of bricks laying on the embankment close by, and the left parapet seems to be missing, so I wonder if this pic was taken during a rebuilding of the bridge at some time- perhaps it was strengthened in conjunction with the new curve at Broom in 1942 so that it could carry heavier traffic?

I think that the shape running down the right of the photo is the ladder from the GW signal situated just next to the bridge.

Comment by alwyn sparrow on April 6, 2015 at 18:52

Gradient chart for Stratford section

Comment by Linton John Guise on April 6, 2015 at 18:19
Looking at the three images I have saved, if this is the bridge over the GW by the Racecourse Platform then the brickwork return at the bottom of the embankment has changed, I don't think this bridge existed long enough for many alterations(?) also I can't see the gradient post in any of the three images.
Best wishes,
Comment by Robin Cullup on April 6, 2015 at 17:46

If this is on the SMJ then my guess is that it's crossing over the GW line next to Stratford Race Course station. The gradient post is a clue as the line rises at 1 in 60 westwards from S-on-A and after crossing over the GW then falls at 1 in 100. One coach trains sufficed on the SMJ in the latter years of the passenger service. The loco is a MR "2F" 0-6-0 and from the style of cab could be 3677 or 3699.


Comment by Andy Thompson on April 6, 2015 at 17:12

Have we got a gradient chart of the line?

Comment by alwyn sparrow on April 6, 2015 at 12:28

Train approaching Stratford from Broom passing over G.W.R.

Comment by Dick Bodily on April 6, 2015 at 11:44

Judging by the gradient post it must be somewhere at a summit where there is a metal rather than the more usual for the SMJ arched brick bridge.

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