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Witness: Long Island Rail Road engineer allows passenger operate train!

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A Long Island Rail Road engineer is at the center of a criminal probe over allegations he allowed a passenger to do the unthinkable: operate a train as it sped through Nassau County, officials said Friday.

 

Ronald Cabrera, a veteran engineer, allegedly permitted the civilian passenger to pilot the train over a 25-mile stretch west of Hicksville on July 2, officials said.

 

"This could have been a mass casualty situation," said Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice, noting that the train travels at more than 80 mph.

 

"If these allegations are proven true, at the very least you are talking about the reckless endangerment of thousands of passengers and individuals who live alongside the high-speed tracks."

 

The shocking allegation surfaced when a witness called MTA police soon after the westbound diesel train arrived at the Hunters Point Ave. station in Queens about 8:30 a.m.

 

The witness said the passenger, a regular on the train, knocked on the engineer's door and was allowed inside the cab, Newsday reported.

 

He said he didn't take notice until he heard the train's horn wail long and loud - unlike its regular short bursts.

 

"It was like a little kid was driving," the witness said.

 

After the train reached its stop, the passenger exited the cabin and asked a passenger, "How'd I do?" the witness said.

 

"It's very troubling, which is why we moved immediately to investigate and wound up suspending the engineer without pay," said LIRR spokesman Joe Calderone.

 

Calderone added that engineers endure a year-long training program to get a federal license, underscoring the complexity of the job.

 

The alarming allegation left some regular LIRR commuters stunned.

 

"It makes me feel unsafe," said George Flores, 35, a janitor from Hicksville, outside the Huntington Station.

 

"You take the train because you think it's the better way, and you can't even trust it anymore. Who can you trust?"

 

Cabrera could not be reached for comment.

 

Sources said MTA police tried to interview him but the engineer requested his lawyer.

 

Investigators are searching for the passenger, described as an adult man, who was spotted taking control of the train.

 

If the allegations are found to be true, both men could face reckless endangerment charges, officials said.

 

"It makes you fear taking the train, but you can't let fear take over your life," said Zhenya Subbotovski, 26, a law school graduate, said on the Mineola train platform.

 

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/

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No accidents, so the passenger did a good job. Goes to show, it ain't hard to operate a train. Just following the rules, and stopping it is........

 

Jackass engineer will lose their job. Their ain't anything the union can do for that reckless act........

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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7A341 Safari/528.16)

 

Oh snap I got next woooo

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Crazy stuff of coursed. But what if the passanger was a Licensed Engineer would he be able to still drive it? Or does the assigned engineer has to?

 

btw no need to cap your title!

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Not a very bright move by the engineer, sure as heck makes transit employees letting the public see closed off portions of the subway system look good by comparison.

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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7A341 Safari/528.16)

 

Not cool. The engineer should be fired and charged with reckless endangerment. (MTA) is lucky nothing went wrong cuz this is a lawsuit waiting to happen. The passenger (supposedly) wasn't qualified to operate the train let alone on one of the busiest stretches of track. Now the DA is looking for the passenger, wonder if he'll be charged with anything...

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Nobody here knows the whole story and now already some of you are calling for him to be fired and arrested/thrown in jail?

 

Amazing.

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He got Suspended without paid.

 

WNBCs view:

 

Fresh on the heels of high-profile deadly commuter rail accidents around the country, most recently in D.C., a Long Island Rail Road engineer let a passenger take the driver's seat on a NYC-bound commuter train. Fortunately, no accident resulted.

 

MTA officials said that Ronald Cabrera has been suspended without pay after being accused of allowing a rider to operate the LIRR double-decker from Hicksville to Hunters Point Avenue, according to Newsday.

 

After the train arrived at its destination, a passenger called police to report that he'd witnessed another passenger in the cab without the engineer, according to MTA police.

 

"The LIRR moved immediately to safeguard the public following receipt of the complaint against the employee," LIRR spokesman Joe Calderone said in a statement, in which he called the allegations "extremely serious and troubling."

 

The train left Port Jefferson heading westbound at 6:45 a.m on July 2. It normally has about 400 passengers and goes up to 80 mph. The train stayed on track, ran smoothly to its destination and no one was injured.

 

The LIRR is the busiest commuter railroad in the U.S., servicing about 81 million passengers each year. Warren Flatau, spokesman for the Federal Railroad Administration, said federal law not only requires that a train conductor be a qualified engineer but it specifically prohibits any unqualified person from entering the train cab.

 

"Train handling is an actual science," Flatau told Newsday. "Would it be acceptable to have an [unqualified person] control a 747 on approach to JFK? Nobody would do that. It's on that level."

 

MTA Police Chief Michael Coan says his department is now "trying to develop a criminal case" against the engineer and the passenger, who has yet to be identified or located. The Nassau County district attorney has also opened investigation of the incident.

 

On June 22 two rush-hour Metro trains in Washington D.C. crashed, killing nine and injuring more than 70 people. In September of last year a double-deck commuter train in Southern California collided into a freight train and killed 26 people and injuring 135.

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That entire article I've read on newsday.com seems fishy. Why is there no descrption of this so-call passenger operating the train? Engineers for Long Island Rail Road do no wear uniforms, so maybe the person who ratted out the engineer must of been confused. Maybe a passenger was talking to the engineer in the cab, but I can't see the engineer letting a passenger driving the train, jeopardizing the engineers job and/or risking the lives of the other passengers....so how knows what really happened!

Edited by via White Plains Road

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Why would one have fun by taking the opportunity to drive a train and then report it for misconduct? It's completely absurd.

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This is obviously something that you do not see every day. But hey, after KnightRider's done, I got next myself! X-D

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Nobody here knows the whole story and now already some of you are calling for him to be fired and arrested/thrown in jail?

 

Amazing.

 

Agreed.

 

I also have to wonder if what someone said about engineers not having a uniform had some kind of factor in this. On NJT I see two guys standing in the cab of an Arrow III all the you know both of them are employees.

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Well if he really did let the "passenger" operate, he should've been smarter and let him do it in the loco, not the car... but it's still dangerous.

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Seems to me that Ronald had some enemies. Other then a kid or a hot looking chick who doesn't look like she belongs in the cab could seem obvious to regular passengers.But if it was just a regular looking person then someone else in the system knew who shouldn't be in there. But then again the Engineer was very stupid in the first place. :tdown:

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Maybe it was a setup. Mr. Cabrera made $96,000 last year. I don't think he would be dumb enough to throw away a solid career for this. As of now it is only allegations, no photos or video which would be concrete proof.

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You know I understand if he let some kids in the cab or let them touch a button but letting a regular passenger drive a train? C'mon that's stupid.

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You all fail to realise that the rat bastard who called this in to the police was a nut, he obviously had some personal grudge against the engineer and waited to get on this guys train to cause trouble. You will see in future reports that this was a setup and there is no prrof of a crime being commited. This engineer will not have any charges pressed against him and he didnt let a passenger operate the train.

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This is obviously something that you do not see every day. But hey, after KnightRider's done, I got next myself! X-D

 

LOL funny man It least nothing happen to the pass. B)

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You all fail to realise that the rat bastard who called this in to the police was a nut, he obviously had some personal grudge against the engineer and waited to get on this guys train to cause trouble. You will see in future reports that this was a setup and there is no prrof of a crime being commited. This engineer will not have any charges pressed against him and he didnt let a passenger operate the train.

 

O my man your point is 100% with me ,all it takes is some nut to see or think he sees something the T/O is gonna get it and really it is A shame because when the public says CERTAIN things the Agency is quick to believe them even if it's ficticious I pray that this T/O gets clear cuz I don't belv that he did it (K)<R>

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You all fail to realise that the rat bastard who called this in to the police was a nut, he obviously had some personal grudge against the engineer and waited to get on this guys train to cause trouble. You will see in future reports that this was a setup and there is no prrof of a crime being commited. This engineer will not have any charges pressed against him and he didnt let a passenger operate the train.

 

That was what I was trying say. It wouldn't make sense for someone to enjoy something perhaps illegal and then report it as misconduct.

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I don't think i ever saw a uniformed LIRR engineer in uniform. The "informer" could be mistaken. Could be a setup. I'm leaning toward setup. With the accidents in the past weeks, i don't think the outcome is gonna be good for the guy.(A)(NYCT)

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