‘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"


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SMJ Forum

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.

MORTON PINKNEY LEVEL CROSSING 14 Replies

There was a public level crossing between Blakesley and Morton Pinkney, complete with a gatehouse.Does anyone know how this was operated?Presumably the gates must have been manual and kept closed against road traffic.Early Working Timetables mention…Continue

Started by Barry Taylor. Last reply by Andrew Emmerson Apr 17.

SMJ photos

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The position here is that the branch to Gayton Wood Pit was, in its later stages at least, not really part of the SMJ line. The pit was run by Richard Thomas & Baldwin, who also owned the railway. It ran from the sidings at Blisworth round a sharp curve at the very commencement of the SMJ line, and then diverged south eastwards, passing under the Blisworth to Gayton road by means of a bridge about half way bewteen the SMJ bridge at OS 709541 and the cross roads at 713538. The line continued on a curve towards the south east into the pit, which lay between Gayton Wood Farm and Rectory Farm. This pit had a very large dragline that, if the wind were in the right direction, could be heard groaning from Stoke Bruerne. The railway closed about 1967 and the pit's machinery was gradually dismantled in the following years. There was an 0-6-0 tank called "Ettrick" that worked the line, taking loaded steel tubs to the BR sidings at Blisworth, and towards the end it was driven by my friend Tony Warwick. Your picture shows the farm as it is today, farmed by a family called Huckerby, who were there when the pit was working. The concrete building in the centre of the view was the engine shed, where I believe there was another spare engine kept. The square brick building on the left is also a relic of Richard Thomas & Baldwin's time at the pit.

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Comment by Peter Fleming on July 9, 2010 at 13:01
The line also went under the Blisworth to Tiffield road close to the crossroads and the depot.

Ettrick (a Hunslet 0-4-0) was not the only loco. In final years there was also Blisworth No.1 (a Barclay 0-4-0). Both engines could be in steam, I don't think one was kept as a spare.

Possibly one worked in the quarry and one down to the SMJ line?

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