Stratford and Midland Junction Railway in Warwickshire Timeline
The first section of the Northampton and Banbury Junction Railway (N&BJR) opens between Blisworth (junction for the London and North Western Railway's branch to Northampton and Peterborough) and Towcester. This is the first section of what will become the Stratford-upon-Avon and Midland Junction Railway.
The East & West Junction Railway (E&WJR) line between Towcester and Stratford-Upon-Avon is authorised.
The section between Fenny Compton and Kineton is opened.
The N&BJR's extension from Towcester to Cockley Brake Junction (joining the London and North Western Railway's route into Banbury) is opened for passengers, although freight has been worked on this section since the previous year.
The E&WJR line to Stratford is opened, but having no station facilities of their own, the E&WJR is forced used the town's GWR station. The E&WJR line east from Fenny Compton to Towcester is also opened at this time
The Evesham, Redditch and Stratford-upon-Avon Junction Railway (ER&SJR) is authorised to run from Broom Junction to the E&WJR at Stratford.
The financial situation of the E&WJR is such that a Receiver is appointed.
The E&WJR station in Stratford opens.
The ER&SJR opens.
Proposals to build a 14 mile extension of the ER&SJR from Broom to Worcester are approved, but the line is never constructed.
The ER&SJR goes into receivership.
The Stratford-Upon-Avon, Towcester and Midland Junction Railway (ST&MJR) opens. This is an eastwards extension from Towcester to the Midland Railway's Northampton to Bedford line at Ravenstone Wood Junction.
The ST&MJR goes into receivership.
Links from the E&WJR to the newly-constructed Great Central Railway at Woodford Halse are opened. This would provide through freight workings from the northeast of England to South Wales using E&WJR, the ER&SJR and the Midland line from Broom Junction to Ashchurch.
The E&WJR, ER&SJR and ST&MJR are put up for sale in the hope that one of the larger railway companies linked to the lines will purchase them. However, there are no takers.
The E&WJR, ER&SJR and ST&MJR amalgamate to form the Stratford-Upon-Avon and Midland Junction Railway (SMJ). A package of re-financing is put into place
The N&BJR is absorbed into the SMJ.
By this point the SMJ is promoting itself as the "Shakespeare Route" in an attempt to gain tourist traffic to Stratford-upon-Avon.
Construction of a replacement farm access road bridge over Goldicote Cutting causes a serious issue when the original bridge collapses, possibly due to the storage of girders for the new bridge being stored on the old one, causing damage to already weakened structure. The line is re-opened within a matter of days, and construction of the new bridge is completed in December of that year.
The SMJ becomes part of the London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS).
A south curve is installed at Broom Junction to aid wartime traffic.
Having enjoyed success during both World Wars, the decline of the network begins with the withdrawal of passenger services between Broom and Stratford.
Passenger services from Stratford to Blisworth are withdrawn.
A link between the SMJ and the Stratford-Cheltenham line is built. Now surplus to requirements, the section between Stratford and Broom is closed completely.
The last remaining sections of the network still open for freight are closed, other than the section from Burton Dassett to Fenny Compton for use by the Ministry of Defence.
The Stephenson Locomotive Society "SMJ Last Train" tour runs along the now-closed SMJ from Stratford to Woodfood Halse. The locomotive on this section is ex-LMS Class 4F no. 44188.