An 85-year-old man died instantly when he was hit by a train a few hundred metres south of Newark's Northgate Station, an inquest was told on Monday.
Mr John Stephenson, of Marton Road, Newark, suffered multiple injuries in the incident at 10.40am on August 12.
Nottinghamshire coroner Miss Mairin Casey recorded a verdict of suicide. She told his family there was nothing they could have done to have prevented what happened.
Miss Casey said she was satisfied that it was a case of self-harm bearing in mind a combination of his behaviour, the evidence of the train driver and a note left by Mr Stephenson.
She said his son, Mr David Stephenson, had described a change in his father's demeanour in the weeks before his death. In a statement he said his father had lost a lot of weight but had been the sort of character who kept concerns to himself and would not have wanted to share them.
Mr Paul Simmons, a rail fatality investigator for British Transport Police, said Mr Stephenson had left a note that clearly denoted a farewell element and had said he did not wish his life to continue.
Mr Simmons said that a statement from the train driver said he was of the opinion it was a deliberate act.
Mr Stephenson was a leading member of the Royal British Legion. He served as a welfare visitor and regularly visited members in Newark Hospital and Beaumond House Community Hospice.
His work in the community was recognised in 2011 when he was nominated for a Newark and District Council Citizen of the Year Award.