Prime Minister John Key has signalled a sale of KiwiRail's Hillside Workshops is likely to be for only part of the site.
In May this year, KiwiRail put the 130-year-old railway workshops in Dunedin on the market expecting to sell them by August, but is still concluding a deal.
Sources say the sale of Hillside's metal foundry is near and the train lifting facility is likely to be kept open for maintenance, but the rest of the site closed.
During a visit to Dunedin on Thursday, Mr Key confirmed that the main interest has been in the foundry and heavy lifter.
He says KiwiRail is closer to making a decision, but the sale has been held up because of the complexity of the partial offers.
The Prime Minister says he does not know when the KiwiRail board will make a final decision, but hopes it is soon to end the uncertainty.