Uh oh: Newsday reports, "A Long Island Rail Road engineer has been suspended without pay following accusations that he allowed a passenger to operate a train as it traveled west of Hicksville earlier this month and law enforcement authorities are investigating." The MTA Police Chief, Michael Coan, said they are working on developing a criminal case against the engineer and passenger, "We know somebody was in the cab. We don't know what happened there. We also know that it ran smoothly and nobody was injured."

Apparently a witness let the MTA know about spotting the passenger at the helm of the train on July 2, on the 6:45 a.m. train from Port Jefferson. The train usually arrives at Hunters Point Avenue in Queens at 8:30 a.m. and the passenger apparently oversaw the Hicksville-Hunters Point stretch. Newsday adds, "MTA police are trying to identify and locate the passenger who allegedly operated the train. Coan said he does not believe the engineer"—identified as Ronald Cabrera—"knew the passenger's name." Coan hopes the person will come forward.

The LIRR says, "These allegations are extremely serious and troubling. The LIRR moved immediately to safeguard the public following receipt of the complaint against the employee, who faces disciplinary charges up to and including termination." Last year, the engineer in a fatal Metrolink crash in Los Angeles (25 were killed) was found to have sent a text message 22 seconds before the crash; apparently he often let teens/rail enthusiasts ride along.