Monroe Stewart
Hooch Junction
May 20, 2007

    Master Model Railroader Monroe Stewart's Hooch Junction has been featured in several national magazines and in a Great Model Railroads video.  The HJ is predominantly an Appalachian coal hauler with a special emphasis on water scenes including the typical rivers of this part of the country, plus a large harbor. The N scale layout features CSX and Norfolk Southern trains paralleling each other from east coast harbors to the coal fields. Even though the layout has about 2,000 feet of track, the fabulous scenery is not crowded. The layout is never static, more water scenes seem to pop up in the aisles and even structures are updated with urban renewal.

    Monroe continually redesigns the layout to maximize his enjoyment of trains and ships. Numerous scratchbuilt ships "float" in the ever expanding harbors. His training as an architect and engineer helps Monroe keep changing the layout. He even designed his house to fit this dream railroad. Yet he rarely does any research before building a structure. He builds what he sees in his mind by breaking down complex, massive structures into geometric shapes. While this approach may not work for everyone, it works for Monroe. He says we don't need building instructions for what we can see. Many of the industries are named for Monroe's friends and fellow model railroaders.  Careful and thorough painting and weathering capture the look of a range of new and old structures.

    Hooch Junction fills a 20' x 40' room and spills out into a 6' x 10' Hooch heavy industry area. This is one of the world's best N gauge layouts and is not to be missed. Monroe keeps upgrading the layout. Horseshoe Curve was bulldozed in and a neat polluting industry was added above the old reservoir. An even more recent modification involves the removal of a mountain, and the conversion of this space to staging yards.

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