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British Industrial History

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Midland and South Western Junction Railway

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of Swindon

The Midland and South Western Junction Railway (M&SWJR) was a wholly independent railway built to form a link between the Midland Railway and London and South Western Railway (LSWR) allowing Midland and Great Western Railway (GWR) trains to reach the port of Southampton. [1]

1884 The M&SWJR was formed from the amalgamation of two local lines:

  • The Swindon, Marlborough and Andover Railway (SMAR), incorporated 1873 and opened in stages with the complete line from Swindon to Andover 5 February 1883
    • Swindon to Marlborough 27 July 1881
    • Grafton to Andover 1 May 1882
  • The Swindon and Cheltenham Extension Railway (S&CER): incorporated 1881. Line built from Swindon Old Town station to Cirencester, but financial difficulties halted further construction.

When the two railways amalgamated the original intention of the S&CER to reach Cheltenham was realised, albeit by obtaining running powers over the final 7.5 miles (12km) from a junction at Andoversford over GWR metals.

1892 the MSWJR secured running powers over the LSWR between Andover and Southampton; from then onwards through workings were operated for trains from the Midlands and beyond: Bradford, Manchester and Liverpool were all connected via the line with Southampton at various times over the following years. The success of the line was partly hampered by the GWR's demand for high fees for connections using its own metals and platforms at Swindon, which meant M&SWJR passengers had to disembark at Swindon Old Town station and travel by road to the GWR station approximately one-and-a-half miles away.

1908 The line was 60.5 miles in length; another 1.5 miles were partly owned. [2]

1923 At Grouping was incorporated in the Great Western Railway

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Wikipedia
  2. The Stock Exchange Year Book