The incident, near the southern French city of Marseilles Saturday, happened when the teens placed flaming torches on the tracks, causing the conductor to stop the train, which had about 150 passengers, France 24 reported. Ten arrests were made, Euronews reported.
The youths were unable to board the train because the carriage doors were locked.
"They were banging on the windows, taking photos and laughing," an unidentified 19-year-old student heading to Nice with her mother told reporters. "They tried to get onto the train. People started panicking. Then the police arrived."
The French TV channel said the hooligans broke into a control box on the side of the train and took smoke grenades they threw at the cars, causing damage to one window. The youths also threw stones at police before most of them fled fleeing.
David-Olivier Reverdy, a police trade union representative," said the youths appeared "more interested in getting attention on the Internet than committing a train robbery."