Cheltenham was moved from the NRM at York to its home works at Eastleigh on Wednesday 6th October 2010 for overhaul. Specialist work was required to remove asbestos and this was carried out by Knights Rail Services based at Eastleigh. The locomotive has since been overhauled by a team from the Mid Hants Railway on site and now complete, Cheltenham will be based here at the MHR alongside fellow National Collection Southern representative, Lord Nelson.
The overhaul of Cheltenham was complete on 25th May 2012 when she was transferred by low loader from Eastleigh to RAILFEST at York 2-10 June 2012. Following RAILFEST, Cheltenham will return to the MHR where she will be run in prior to being assigned to traffic. Her first major event will be our Autumn Steam Spectacular on 7-9 September 2012 where she will be one of the star attractions.
The Schools class were the most powerful 4-4-0 type locomotives to operate in this country and were a very successful design, used for passenger and freight duties. They were named after the famous public schools within the area then served by the Southern Railway, a publicity masterstroke given the popularity of train spotting with schoolboys at the time.
The last of the class was withdrawn from service in 1962. Only 3 are preserved with only 1, Repton, currently in steam on the NYMR. The other preserved example is Stowe on based on the Bluebell Railway and now on static display.