THEY were fire-eating locomotive legends which proudly roared out of the running sheds of Eastleigh's giant railway works.

Those heady days of steam have long gone and the railway works have sadly been shunted into the sidings.

But that golden era of rail has been captured in a DVD which has been produced for the Eastleigh Railway Preservation Society (ERPS).

As well as vividly documenting the role that Eastleigh played the film is also a fundraiser to foot the massive bill for an overhaul of a home produced steam giant rescued from a Welsh scrapyard.

Rusting The ex-Southern Railway Maunsell Class S 15 local, Number 828, had been rusting away in the Barry railway graveyard when a group of Eastleigh railway enthusiasts stepped in to save it.

Then it looked a pitiful sight. All that was left was a rusting hulk - a far cry from those halcyon days of steam.

The rescue operation was led by the late Harry Frith, a retired railway engineer, who masterminded the massive restoration operation when the locomotive was brought back home in the eighties.

A dedicated taskforce brought together by the Eastleigh Railway Preservation Society sacrificed every spare minute to restore one of the giants of the golden age of steam to full working order.

Rebirth The rebirth of locomotive 828 represented nearly 40,000 hours of painstaking work rebuilding the engine right down to the last rusty bolt.

And it was a proud moment in 1993 when the locomotive returned to main line duty. It marked its comeback on the Eastleigh to Salisbury run where it spent most of its working life clocking up 1,287,124 miles.

Since coming out of retirement the locomotive has become a trusty little workhorse on the Swanage railway in Dorset.

But now it has had to go back into the garage for a major overhaul needed to pass its fitness certificate.

It's work which will cost several thousands of pounds and that it is why the Eastleigh Railway Preservation Society is hoping that the DVD will boost funds.

A must for rail fans, it shows rare and spectacular footage of the Battle of Britain class, Tangmere around the South of England and the world famous Eastleigh-built Lord Nelson running on the West Somerset Railway.

It was film captured by the railway preservation society's official photographer Brian Southon who said: "The overhaul of 828 at Ropley by Eastleigh Railway Preservation Society volunteers is expected to cost upwards of £80,000 and should be completed in three years depending on material costs rising and funds raised to meet these costs."

The DVD, costing £10, is available from the Eastleigh High Street museum, The Footplate Model Railway Shop in St James Road and by ringing Brian on 07798 631790.