This will be the first in a series of blog posts revolving around my fictional transit systems. I was originally going to begin with my Mushroom Kingdom fantasy transit system, but I still have to make a few changes to the map before I can upload it.
Instead, I will be focusing this post on a completed fantasy subway system map for the Hampton Roads, VA area. As I mentioned in many areas of my blog, as well as through my various Facebook posts, Norfolk, VA already has a light rail line (which by the way turned one year old this past September). However, I started to think to myself “what if they had an extensive subway system?” So I began to create a fantasy subway system map on Google Maps that would serve all of the major areas in around Norfolk and Virginia Beach. The composition of the system is somewhat based off the Paris Metro in Paris, France. I even chose the color of each subway line to match the colors from the Paris subway (Line 1 on both systems is represented with a sunshine yellow/orange color for instance).
You can view my Google map by selecting the link below.
Back in 2009, I embarked on a week-long trip to Belgium & France. During my stay in Paris, I became fascinated with the city’s subway system. The system, unlike many here in the US, operates rubber-tyred subway trains. That’s right, the trains run on rubber tires (although each outside tire is reinforced by a steel wheel on the inner axle to allow the train to run if a tire goes flat). One such example is pictured below.
Pictured here is the MP 89CC rubber-tyred subway train. For those of you who may not be familiar with the naming conventions that the Parisian transit authority (the RATP) uses for their subway fleet, I have a brief description in the next paragraph. Notice in the photo that the train is equipped with rubber tires on the outside of each axle. Behind the tires is a steel wheel, which again helps keep the train on track if a tire goes flat. One of the reasons why the RATP and many other transit agencies use rubber tyred subway trains is because they tend to have a much better grip to the tracks than the traditional steel wheeled trains. This is especially the case on lines where there are steep grades because traditional trains tend to have a harder time braking. The rubber tyred trains on the other hand can stop in a similar nature to that of a car or bus.