Amtrak spokesman Cliff Cole said passengers were kept on the train as a safety precaution, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.
The Silver Service, which travels a New York-to-Miami route, left Washington Sunday afternoon but stopped Sunday night after it developed a problem with an axle under the dining car, just a couple miles short of the Staples Mill Road station.
"Since the train was disabled between stops and was unable to be moved, the decision was to have the passengers stay on board, where there was air conditioning and food supplies for the long-distance trip," Cole said. "The decision to remain on the train was made by Amtrak for safety reasons."
Cole said a delay of such length was considered rare and Amtrak understands "the passengers' frustrations from last night's events. We apologize for the inconvenience."
He said a replacement car was coupled to the train, which resumed its run.