John Haynes

Scientist ● Storm chaser ● Railroad enthusiast


I am interested in many facets of railroading, including:

  • history,
  • signaling and interlocking towers, and
  • safety and operating practices

Chicago area interlocking towers are of special interest, since I have been fortunate enough to observe operations inside several of the century-old interlocking towers that protected, and in some cases continue to protect, Chicago's numerous junctions and crossings.

Interlocking Towers

I maintain two of my late father's projects: the Page of Towers which includes schematic diagrams and photos of numerous Chicago-area interlocking towers, and his memoir, My Best Summer Job: Working EJ&E Towers in 1963.

Fort Collins Railroad Map

A map of the modern day railroads of Fort Collins, Colorado, including the BNSF street-running on Mason Street. I make no guarantees of map accuracy, and welcome changes and additions.

  > Click here to view

Denver Union Station Area Railroad Map

A map of the railroads in the area of Denver, Colorado's Union Station.

  > Click here to view

Indiana Harbor Belt

Another mapping project. My map of the modern-day IHB railroad appears in the book Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad in Color, published by Morning Sun Books. The book can be purchased on Amazon or from Morning Sun.

Signal Restoration

Position light signals are my favorite type of railroad signal. I recently restored a World War II-era (plus or minus) PL-4 position light signal, complete with software for wireless operation (see below).

You can read more about the Norfolk and Western Railway and Pennsylvania Railroad version of these signals.


piSignalSequencer is software I wrote that provides a command line and web interface to display a sequence of lights on a model or museum-type signal display from a Raspberry Pi, meaning you can do so over WiFi from a mobile phone, or any browser on your local network. On GitHub.