A CORONER recorded a verdict of misadventure on a man struck by a 90mph train on the West Coast Main Line.

An inquest heard that Colin Monty, 47, was "struggling" with major mental health problems and had sent his sister a text saying: "Goodbye Susan, I'm taking my own life".

He stepped into the path of a Glasgow-bound Virgin train just north of Penrith on September 15 and suffered "unsurvivable" injuries to his head and upper body.

Alan Sharp, assistant coroner for south and east Cumbria, said the post mortem report did not make "easy reading".

In a statement, train driver Craig Crook said he sounded the train horn and applied the emergency brakes as soon as he saw the man heading towards the tracks.

He stated that the man stood between the rails and turned to face him, then "made a move to leave the line with some urgency" when the train was about 50 yards away.

However, he seemed very slow on his feet, and the train hit him.

Susan Telford, Mr Monty's sister, said his mental health problems had come to a head after a divorce, constant back pain and losing his job.

He spent months in hospital before moving to supported housing in Newcastle in his native North East, but never settled, and he was upset about his son Ryan - "the centre of his world" growing up.

Mr Monty stepped onto the train tracks on his son's first day at university, his sister told the inquest.

PC Lee Ballantine, of British Transport Police, said that Mr Monty had bought a rope at some point, and a large amount of painkillers.

She said a letter of thanks had been sent to trainspotter Roy Savage, who helped guide the emergency services to the remote location of the incident.

Assistant coroner Mr Sharp said the evidence that Mr Monty "seemed to have changed his mind" made the death "even more tragic".

"I don't think he wanted to go through with it," he said.

Mr Sharp concluded that a suicide verdict would be "inappropriate", and recorded a verdict of misadventure.