A file photo of the LIRR tracks near the Jay...

A file photo of the LIRR tracks near the Jay switching station on the west side of Jamaica train station. (Sept. 30, 2011) Credit: Charles Eckert

Service on the Long Island Rail Road between Jamaica and Penn Station was restored after being suspended for three hours when a Ronkonkoma train hit an unauthorized person on the tracks, the LIRR said.

The delays hit at rush hour, shortly after 4:20 p.m., when a 50-year-old man was struck and killed just west of Forest Hills by a train that left Ronkonkoma at 3:11 p.m., Sam Zambuto, an LIRR spokesman, said. The train had been due at Penn Station at 4:34 p.m. The fatality was being considered a suicide, Zambuto said.

Eighteen eastbound rush-hour trains to Long Island were canceled when westbound trains were unable to get to Penn Station and turn around to pick up commuters, the spokesman said.

Access to Penn Station for the LIRR was restricted intermittently between 5:35 p.m. and 6:50 p.m., allowing commuters to enter when trains pulled into Penn Station and then restricted until the next trains were available to prevent overcrowding, Zambuto said. At 6:50 p.m., all restrictions into Penn Station were removed, he said.

Stops at Forest Hills, Kew Gardens and Woodside had been suspended but resumed by 7 p.m., the railroad said.

The accident stranded about 1,200 passengers on the Ronkonkoma train, Zambuto said.

Riders remained quiet for the most part as they awaited announcements and as LIRR employees and MTA police worked along the tracks.

Sweat beaded on passengers' faces because the air-conditioning had been shut down and temperatures outside were in the high 80s.

Zambuto said the train car doors were not opened to allow air in because the train was on raised tracks. Conductors passed out cartons of water.

With Scott Eidler