2006_05_28_sabre4000.jpg For the past month MTA police have been using a newish tool to screen LIRR and Metro-North passengers for things that like to go boom.

The Sabre 4000 (right), a portable version of a device that should be familiar to anyone who has gone through airport security in the past five years (or gotten their bag checked on the subway in the past six months), "is like a DustBuster on steroids." On super-explosive sniffing steroids that is. The little bugger has the "power to detect tiny explosive particles on clothing or baggage."

We're glad the MTA is continuing to publicly beef up their security, but we wonder how durable these Sabres are. We'd hate for the City to have dropped a bucket-load of cash on a technology that breaks in a year and a half (*cough* *cough* iPod *cough*). One Sabre 4000 costs roughly $25,000. For security reasons the MTA won't say how many they've purchased and/or are using.