A vision to reconnect Helston to the rail network is gaining steam after the town council agreed its backing to the principle.

Mike Thomas, a member of both the town council and a representative of Helston at county level, is leading the fight to see trains returning to the town.

In a written report to the council, Mr Thomas said he had the support of Cornwall Council transport member Geoff Brown over the idea of a campaign to press Network Rail to "consider the principle of reconnecting Helston to the rail network."

In a plea for the support of his fellow town councillors, Mr Thomas wrote: "My concern is as a community we do not regard this as an impossible dream or 'pie in the sky,' but instead see it is entitlement for south Kerrier to have connections to the rest of the UK that other regions enjoy.

"We are long overdue serious national investment in our connectivity."

He acknowledged that there was no funding at Cornwall Council to make this happen, but said he had already made contact with Network Rail and would be writing to the chair of the Peninsula Rail Task Force.

"Apparently we're not alone. There is at least one other campaign group pressing the resurrection of a disused railway track in east Cornwall," he added.

Members were asked for their backing to a motion by Mr Thomas, that "Helston Town Council supports the principle of reconnecting Helston to Network Rail and will work with all interested parties to substantiate Helston's case for this to occur."

Councillor Tim Grattan-Kane also spoke on behalf of Mr Thomas, who could not attend the meeting as planned after being called away unexpectedly.

He described Helston as "the hub for south Kerrier," adding: "We are looking at a total population of in the region of 42,000 people. We have problems with the road transport. There's only been minor improvements on the Redruth road; to go via Penryn, to get onto the A30 is a torturous route.

"What we are hoping to achieve by this is an acknowledgement that the idea is sound. That we will work with Cornwall Council and we will work with Network Rail to improve our connections."

Mr Grattan-Kate added that a lack of connectivity was "affecting the prosperity of our community."

He pointed to towns in Scotland where branch lines had reopened and were now "experiencing considerable usage and improving the life of the community."

Mayor Gillian Geer pointed out that at this point it was just the principle of support such a move that members were being asked to vote on, adding: "It doesn't seem to me we will lose anything by supporting this idea and we may well gain hugely."

The council was unanimous in its support, despite member Ronnie Williams declaring it "cuckoo land" after the vote.

"It's not in our remit to do it, we have to work with other people. I accept there's not a pot of money that is immediately available.

We're not saying we'll follow the old route, or a new route.