Truronian Dart saved

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A Cornish preservation group has added another vehicle with local connections to its fleet, reports Nick Larkin

Transbus Dart SLF new to much-loved Cornish former independent Truronian has been saved for preservation.

The 2003 bus, which has Transbus B37F bodywork, is now owned by the Cornwall Bus Preservation Society (CBPS) as one of its 23-strong fleet.

Truronian was set up by former Western National managers Geoff Rumbles and David Rabey in 1987. The company had 70 vehicles when it was taken over by First South West in 2008. Today it is the highly successful coaching arm of FirstGroup’s First Kernow operation.

This former Truronian Transbus Dart is now preserved. CBPS

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The Dart was bought to replace an accident-damaged vehicle and was regularly used on the Perranporth-Truro-Helston and The Lizard services, being sent to Camborne on the First takeover. In 2013 it received a brown and cream livery to mark the 110th anniversary of the first bus route to be run by the Great Western Railway, from Helston to The Lizard. The bus was later transferred to First’s The Buses of Somerset operation and painted in two-tone green.

Latterly the Dart was sold to dealer/enthusiast and CBPS member Dan Shears, and after some minor welding and other work is ready for action. The plan is to paint the vehicle in Truronian’s original red and silver livery, said CBPS Treasurer Paul Crate, a part-time driver for First South West.

“We are very pleased to be able to add this bus to our fleet. Truronian is a much-loved company locally and we have members who are or have been drivers for the operator.”

The CBPS was formed in 2009 to save and preserve buses and coaches that have operated in Cornwall, whether new there or not. Some vehicles are owned by the group, others by its members. They range from several Bristol VRs to a former First Mercedes-Benz Vario, S529 RWP. There are also two of the six Marshall-bodied Bristol LHs delivered to Western National, VOD 124/125K and TUJ 921J, a new to Salopia Willowbrook-bodied Bedford restored as a tribute to Grenville Motors of Camborne, which ran a virtually identical vehicle. Then there’s 1963 Albion Nimbus RJX 250, new to Halifax but running for Harveys of Mousehole from 1967 to 1988.

Sadly, the society’s Penzance Running Day, normally a staple of the April rally calendar, has had to be cancelled for this year due to Covid-19.

Details of the group can be found at or email [email protected]