A Brexiteer businessman told of his plans to buy the closed Springburn railway in a multi-million pound deal.

Heritage railway enthusiast Jeremy Hosking donated £200,000 to the Brexit Party, as well as £1.5 million to the Vote Leave campaign, and is also a shareholder in Crystal Palace F.C.

The City financier uses his wealth to pay for his passion for steam railways, and owns the building used as the head office of Hornby’s, the model railway company.

His rail group, Locomotive Services, owns 13 steam locomotives.

Glasgow Times: An aerial view of the Springburn railway yards in 1961An aerial view of the Springburn railway yards in 1961

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Mr Hosking, 61, already has a depot in Crewe, Cheshire, but plans to buy the Springburn depot, opened as the St Rollox in 1854 but later renamed Caley works, in Glasgow, which closed last summer after 166 years.

The site once employed up to 3500 people.

The Scottish Government has said it is “keen to explore options to secure its ongoing use”.

Owner of the site, Hansteen, has said it would be pleased to sell “at the right price” when the lease ends in March, to current tenant Gemini Rail Services.

Gemini shut down the site with the loss of 67 jobs.

Glasgow Times: Protests against the closure of the site last yearProtests against the closure of the site last year

Mr Hosking said: “A multi-million pound offer has been made, which is good news for rail and for Scotland.

“We are taking advantage of the turnover of rolling stock among train operators to increase our assets.

“In the long term, we hope to operate more trains.

“We are excited about Springburn.

"If it comes off, it would be a shift to the north.”

On jobs, he said: “Employment to ramp up slowly”.

Mr Hosking’s rail group, Locomotive Services, includes Icons of Steam, which owns 13 locomotives such as Royal Scot, the flagship of the London, Midland and Scottish railway in the 1920s.

The group also includes Saphos Trains and Statesman Rail, which run steam and other heritage excursions, including to Scotland.

Springburn could be used for maintaining and storing the fleet as well as providing water for steam engines during cross-Border excursions.

Locomotive services managing director Tony Bush said: “At the moment all our Anglo-Scottish operations emanate from Crewe, which is logistically challenging.

“Springburn would serve as a Scottish operational hub and provide resilience for our services.

“Dedicated Scottish operations could originate there rather than the 400-plus mile round trip carrying empty stock [from Crewe].

Glasgow Times:

READ MORE: Scottish Government criticised over closure of historic Caley railyard

“Steam locomotives and coaching stock (both old and more modern) can be serviced and maintained without sending Crewe staff.

“We mean business – slow and steady development, but long-term commitment.”

Mr Bush said this would mean the site moving away from Gemini’s focus on refitting work for other operators.

He said there would be “no reliance on the volatile vehicle refurbishment business, which, with the [operators’] massive investment in brand new rolling stock, has sunk without trace”.

A spokesman for Hansteen said: “We are in early discussions. Hansteen will be very pleased to sell them the site at the right price.”

The Scottish Government’s Transport Scotland agency said: “Any discussions regards the sale of the site are commercially confidential but we are keen to explore options to secure its ongoing use.”