That really is the Arlington, Virginia Orange Line in the opening pages of Soyuz Blue.
And those really are the stations you visit until you pass beneath the Potomac River, where our heroine, Dr. Elizabeth Floyd, is trapped in a crowded commuter train by a power outage.
The DC metro is the second busiest metro system after New York, with an average of 727,000 trips per workday. The rail system has received numerous design awards, including the American Institute of Architects Twenty-five Year Award for “architectural design of enduring significance that has stood the test of time.” The open and airy stations are a lot of fun for the illustrator to draw.
But these vaulted spaces can lull the rider into a false sense of security before plunging him or her into a dank and crowded metro car. Metro has a troubled history in the past few years brought on by insufficient funding and lack luster maintenance. Riding the metro everyday is a constant source of uncertainty. There are always problems; you just hope it is on the other person’s train. The only criticism I have received on this scene is that “ The train driver in a real situation would not have been so communicative. Generally you’re left without a clue as to why you are not moving.”
A funny place to start a story about a journey to the International Space Station? Not if your heroine is claustrophobic.
Hey Washington! Did I capture the real Metro experience? Read it for yourself! See samples on Amazon: http://bit.ly/soyuzblue