The Long Island Rail Road Thursday evening cut power on the Babylon Branch after a train was halted because it appeared to have hit debris and about 10 passengers climbed out on the tracks, said a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Cancellations and delays stretched as long as 90 minutes, partly because the train crew's investigation was complicated by the riders who ignored safety rules, Salvatore Arena said by email.
Shortly after 6 p.m., the 5:13 p.m. eastbound train to Babylon evidently ran into an "unknown object," Arena said. The train crew stopped it about 1,000 feet from the Bellmore Station platform.
The crew contacted MTA police and went out to search for debris but none was found.
Crew members kept passengers informed while the search was conducted, the spokesman said. But 10 passengers left the train, headed for the platform.
"As a result, the LIRR cut power and was ultimately forced to suspend service between Jamaica and Babylon as Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police attempted to round up the customers and make sure they were safely off the tracks," his statement said.
The railroad, via social media and its website, at about 6:50 p.m. said service was suspended in both directions between Jamaica and Babylon due to police activity.
The power was turned back on at about 7:38 p.m., allowing the train that was stopped just east of the station to resume running, about 110 minutes late, he said.
The delays cascaded through parts of the system.
"Other trains were similarly delayed and the LIRR was forced to cancel trains at Jamaica and Pennsylvania Station that were unable to proceed east during the incident," the spokesman said.
Trains on other branches also were delayed because service was suspended all the way to Jamaica.
His statement, sent shortly after 9 p.m., added: "Residual delays continue on the Babylon Branch."