In Possum Kingdom, two settings are crucial to the action: an abandoned “ghost” platform near Harvard Square, and a Civil Defense shelter located near Tremont Street. And yes, Virginia, the two really do exist.
As a child I was entranced by the Harvard Square “ghost station,” a gloomy, narrow platform on the inbound side of the tracks, between Harvard and Central. A temporary station built to accommodate Harvard Square passengers during the main stop’s renovation during the early 1980s, the platform was abandoned as if something terrible had happened there. Trains still slow down as they round the bend, as if in tribute (even though in reality, it’s simply that the curve is too sharp to take at higher speeds):
The Tremont St. tunnel is just as interesting. This one, I had no idea about; I tripped over the information about it while researching the Harvard Square station. Located on the Green Line not far from the Park Street station and the Combat Zone where Theo first lived and worked among Boston’s gay community, it once served as a nuclear fallout shelter.
Admittedly, I struggled with writing adequate detail here because I was too young and too sheltered to ever have been involved with the Combat Zone. My inspiration was more vicarious, by way of a friend who frequented the same clubs as Theo; even so, this tunnel will show up again in the sequel to Possum Kingdom, Streets of Abaddon.