Peak-hour trains were delayed for 40 minutes in Melbourne’s east this morning when a motorist parked his car and forgot to apply the handbrake, causing it to roll onto the tracks.

Trains on the Glen Waverley line ground to a halt at East Malvern railway station when the white sedan, with no driver, rolled onto the tracks just as peak hour was kicking off at 7am.

Metro spokesman Christ Whitefield said a man, believed to be elderly, had parked on a slope in a nearby carpark and had not applied the handbrake properly.

‘‘The car seemed to be abandoned but on closer inspection we found that it had rolled from the carpark,’’ he said.

The car halted trains on the Glen Waverley line until 8.20am, with commuters experiencing delays of up to 40 minutes at one stage.

Trains were still delayed by 15 minutes at 10am.

Mr Whitefield said today’s incident provided a timely reminder for motorists to ensure their vehicles were securely parked.