A TRAIN driver caused a crash after being distracted by texts about the coronavirus lockdown, an investigation found.

The collision, which involved a passenger train travelling at 85 miles per hour and a freight train, was caused by the driver becoming distracted by a text message from a family member.

The crash took place near Bromsgrove station on March 23 shortly after Boris Johnson announced the country was going into lockdown.

Both trains were damaged but nobody was injured.

The investigation by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) found that the driver of the train had watched the Prime Minister's televised address at 8.30pm before driving to work.

After his locomotive departed at 9.32pm, he exchanged text messages with a family member discussing the impact of school closures on their childcare arrangements.

The freight locomotive ran through a buffer stop and derailed, leading it to partially block an adjoining line where it was hit by a CrossCountry train.

A report by the RAIB said the driver was "distracted" by a picture message sent at 10.38pm featuring advice on schools.

Five minutes later, the driver realised his locomotive was approaching the buffer stop and applied the brakes but was unable to avoid running through it.

Just 47 seconds later the CrossCountry train, which had four passengers and two crew on board, crashed into the locomotive while travelling at 85 miles per hour.

Checking his phone was against the policy of his employer, DB Cargo, which says they must not be used in the driving cab, the RAIB said.

The report found there was no opportunity to stop the passenger train before the crash and the second driver "had no idea that the locomotive was foul of his line until his train collided with it".

One of the RAIB's three learning points for drivers related to compliance with mobile phone policies.