Long Island Rail Road customers coped with cancellations on 16 eastbound trains and delays on as many as 19 during the Monday evening rush while westbound service was temporarily suspended between Jamaica and Penn Station and between Woodside and Penn, according to LIRR officials.
It was unclear Monday night how many customers were affected by the disruption in service, but officials did say that trains each carry about 1,000 people.
The LIRR said the problem stems from a track condition east of the East River tunnels, and that the problem should be solved by Tuesday morning's commute.
Due to a switch problem, one of the four tunnels under the East River is "unable to accept trains powered from the third rail," said an Amtrak spokesman. "Repairs are not possible during the afternoon rush hour, but will be made overnight," he said.
A LIRR spokeswoman said that passengers on the 16 eastbound trains that were canceled were accommodated by later trains. The first of the cancellations began shortly after 4 p.m.
One westbound train was canceled.
Officials suspended westbound service altogether between Jamaica and Penn and Woodside and Penn at about 5:37 p.m. and New York City Transit began cross-honoring fares between the two segments. By 6:50 p.m., service was restored to normal, officials said.
The railroad said the delays and cancellations were the result of the track condition just east of the East River tunnels.
An issue earlier in the day involving a broken switch component was repaired as of 2:45 p.m., an Amtrak spokeswoman said.
Amtrak owns and maintains the tunnels.
As of around 5:15 p.m., five eastbound LIRR trains had been canceled, according to the website.