‘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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A WD 2-8-0 from Newport shed on what appears to be a loaded freight somewhere on the SMJ.
The bridge should be a clue to someone - there is a small stunted telegraph pole right under the arch which must be significant? The line curves to the left behind the train. It MIGHT be Aston le Walls,taken from the west but I am not convinced, and the telegraph pole is not apparent in pics taken from the other side of the bridge

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Comment by Barry Taylor on March 29, 2013 at 12:18

I'm tempted to plump for Aston le Walls for this one, although not totaly convinced yet. There are not too many photos about of this location from this era, although I do have one of another WD coming under the other side of the bridge. On that one I can't make out the stunted telegraph pole that looks to be under the bridge on the mystery shot, and I think that it should be visible. Also on the mystery shot I cannot see the small loading platform that was just beyond the bridge on the right and that ought to be more visible too. Apart from that Aston fits - the bridge looks right, the curve of the line is OK - and even the two SMJ bridge restriction signs are in the right places (but then they always were on other bridges too) Any other thoughts?

Comment by Dick Bodily on March 27, 2013 at 11:30

It was allocated to Ebbw Junction from Dec 54 to June 57 so that narrows the date down a bit. The headcode is for Class H Through Freight and it looks like a steel train with the loco returning from Woodford to Wales. Around those years the first evening steel train left Woodford yard at about 7.30pm and I don't think that there were any afternoon ones so presumably this picture was taken quite late in the evening on a sunny summers day.

Comment by Barry Taylor on March 27, 2013 at 9:54

Some further thoughts on this one. I think that the train is probably one of the afternoon / evening freights heading to South Wales, which would account for the sun being on the front of the loco - so possibly heading west rather than east. Also on closer examination, the sleepers are concrete. Does anyone know where these sleepers were laid on the SMJ, presumably as part of the 1950's upgrading of the line west of Woodford. I have pics of them variously at Byfield station, Burton Dassett and Aston le Walls - but not at Ettington, Kineton, or Fenny Compton - or were they installed as a rolling programme on most of the line eventually? 

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