Dunedin's mayor is confident a new owner will put their hand up for KiwiRail's Hillside facility.
KiwiRail will sell the engineering facility as a going concern, just months after making 44 workers redundant.
Unions are partly blaming KiwiRail's decision not to bid for the contract last year to build a new fleet of trains for Auckland.
But mayor Dave Cull says he'd rather see the facility sold than closed down, which was a real possibility.
He's confident there are buyers out there.
"There's other possibilities. It might be that some engineering outfit might want to build componentry for Christchurch housing. It could be a whole host of things."
Mr Cull says Dunedin still has a highly skilled cluster of engineers and engineering facilities.
Mr Cull says the city's manufacturing activity has slipped over the years, due to a slow down in the orders for the construction and refurbishment of rail wagons.
He says the region's health is still strong, but manufacturing has seen better days.
"Our manufacturing base has declined over the years, having said that we have a very important and highly skilled engineering cluster in Dunedin which is kind of mutually independent, and Hillside is a part of that."
Dave Cull is open to the possibility that Hillside's purpose may completely change when sold.
Image: NZ Herald