By Phil Marsh
Eastleigh Works has been sold for a reported £20.6 million.
The works was opened by the LSWR in 1909 and operationally closed in 2006 by the then operator Alstom. The firm had purchased Eastleigh, Wolverton and Springburn Works to rectify their new train fleets and once the work was done, they had no further use for these works. Nor did St Modwen, the property developer which purchased the three works from Alstom in 2002.
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The 38 acre Eastleigh Works was home at this time to the National Railway Museum-owned SR Lord Nelson 4-6-0 No. 850 Lord Nelson under restoration with an uncertain future. However, Bruce Knights formed Knights Rail Services and started rail renovation services at Eastleigh and rented out space to Arlington Fleet Services.
Bruce invited our sister title The Railway Magazine to arrange an open weekend to celebrate the works’ centenary in May 2009, and the event attracted more than 20,000 visitors.
The connection with both the museum and the Mid Hants Railway continued with the overhaul of SR Schools 4-4-0 No. 925 Cheltenham inside Eastleigh Works in 2011. Today, the MHR-owned SR Merchant Navy Pacific No. 35005 Canadian Pacific is being overhauled in the works, part funded by a lottery grant.
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