The Hooch Junction Railroad of Monroe Stewart runs from the West Virginia Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean. Monroe came up with the name and route himself. The junction came from his days in Southeast Asia, where they referred to shack shanties and other outbuildings and dwellings as “hooches”.
When he got back to the states his railroad ended up in an out building at the rear of the house. Everyone referred to this building as “The Hooch.” As he developed the railroad in this building, it became the Hooch Junction. Routes are something that tend to be modeled from what modelers see and what they know about it. Growing up in Washington, he used to see trains at the crossings when he first started driving. This is when he first started paying attention to trains.
When he went to school, he also started paying more attention to trains. Being in Hampton, Virginia, a lot of the girls were from surrounding areas. When he would date these girls, he found himself driving on West Virginia roads, all places the N&W and the C&O went. As a result he started noticing them. He became fascinated by this area and started to model it from real life observations.
Coal is the main reason for the railroad’s existence. However, the railroad does have a number of other functions. It moves a lot of coal, but it also developed the steel industry and lumber industry. All three of these industries serve each other and generate traffic for 75 other industries that are on the line. The reason why Monroe can’t nail down a time frame is because he doesn’t have a discipline. He would, however, call the railroad modern. He started out in the 60’s because he recognized trains from the 60s.