Bury, Thorn and Son 'O' gauge tar distillery

Gauge: 'O' | Period: 1950s-1960s | Region: Industrial, West Yorkshire | Operating Team: Joshua Haworth and friends

Bury, Thorn and Sons O gauge model railway.

Bury, Thorn and Sons is a 7mm:1ft, 32mm gauge, layout representing a small portion of a fictitious tar distillery set somewhere in the West Riding of Yorkshire in the late 1950s to early 1960s. The rest of the works and the British Rail exchange sidings are located 'off scene'.

Bury, Thorn and Sons O gauge model railway.

There is a mixture of kit built and ready-to-run motive power, some repainted into the house colours of desert sand. The stock includes products from Dapol, Ixion Models and Minerva Model Railways. The majority of the locomotives are fitted with DCC sound bringing an emersive feel to operation and viewing of the layout. The rolling stock is a similar mixture of ready-to-run and kit built, with some of the tank wagons also livered in BT&S schemes.

Traffic consists of inbound tar in square tank wagons, with the refined products leaving in Class A and B tankers, loaded using the equipment in the rear right hand corner of the layout. General merchandise and barrels are also transhipped in the large warehouse and workshop units along the front of the layout.


Bury, Thorn and Sons O gauge model railway.The layout was originally built by Dave, also known as 'Ruston' on RMWeb, a prolific industrial locomotive modeller, before being sold to Matt Fowles in 2014. Joshua Haworth purchased the layout in 2020 and continues its use on the exhibition circuit.

The vast majority of the layout is Dave's work, with running repairs being the order of the day between shows rather than wholesale reworking. A significant amount of work has been put in during my ownership to rewire the layout and build transportation boards to make the layout more resilient to travel and exhibition use.

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