A SEPTA Market-Frankford Line train ran into a barrel on the tracks near the Girard Avenue Station this morning, disrupting rush hour service through the area for three hours.

Officials are investigating how the barrel got onto the tracks.

SEPTA spokesman Gary Fairfax said the westbound train hit the barrel about 5:30 a.m., damaging the electrified third rail.

The crew tried unsuccessfully to get the train into the station and passengers were stranded for an hour before they were evacuated along the elevated track bed.

SEPTA operated shuttle buses between the Huntingdon and Spring Garden stations until repairs could be made. Service resumed at 8:30 p.m.

SEPTA has initially reported the disruption was due to unspecified equipment problems involving the track.