"I never did it for fame," Thomas told the Daily News. "It's not something that I'm proud of, but I don't want people to get the wrong impression. ... I just wanted to drive a train."
Thomas said his May 8, 1993, stunt stemmed simply from his affinity for subway trains and how they work. He spent months reading books and operating manuals about the city's subways to "learn the tricks of the trade," Thomas said.
On a Saturday afternoon Thomas, posing as a motorman he'd befriended to learn more about the job, called a Transit Authority crew office and left his home number to sign up for any available overtime shifts.
A short time later, his phone rang and Thomas was told to report for duty at the 207th St. station in Inwood. Wearing his motorman shirt, he walked in carrying all the proper operator equipment: safety vest, brake handle and a reverser key.