random thoughts on railroad photography, railfanning, technology, and such

Entries in New Web Site (2)


BNSF Unveils a New Site for "Friends"

Friends of BNSF
BNSF’s latest web offering for the community at large.

A few days ago BNSF unveiled a new web offering called “Friends of BNSF.”

According to John Ambler, BNSF vice president, Corporate Relations, 

Friends of BNSF will allow us to keep the community informed about issues that are important to freight rail transportation and its role in the U.S. economy. Rail fans, freight rail advocates, members of communities in which BNSF operates, and of course our employees and retirees are all welcome at Friends of BNSF.

The website, which is free to join, will contain material from BNSF’s extensive historical archives — historical photos and videos, authentic maps and documents, and classic brochures and advertisements.

Friends of BNSF will be updated with new content regularly and members can elect to receive e-mail notifications when new content is posted in their selected areas of interest.

BNSF’s Arizona Fact Sheet
An example of some of the content available.

Members will be able to view special news articles and videos, explore a one-of-a-kind resource library packed with company information, download exclusive wallpaper, ringtones and a screensaver.

BONUS: The first 10,000 new members who complete their profile including mailing address will receive a free 2012 BNSF calendar, which displays a collection of spectacular photos of BNSF trains taken by BNSF employees.

I have joined the site and I have found the content interesting and informative. My only gripe, thusfar, is that the opportunity to have one of your photos chosen for the calendar is open to employees only! :-(  


Much More Than Just a New Pretty Face

Earlier today, via a “tweet,”  the Union Pacific Railroad’s Steam Program announced the release of a new look for their program’s web site.  I called up their site on my iPad and was extremely pleased with what filled my screen:UP Steam Programs new look as seen on the iPad. 

I was very impressed and it was apparent to me that this was much more than just a face lift. To me, the new site has a fresh and current look - quite unlike the previous site which was getting a bit long in the tooth. 

The colors complement each other nicely and and the graphics add the perfect touch. I love the “map” element that successfully conveys the historic nature of the site’s purpose and the dual use of it as a navigation mechanism is innovative. I have been toying with a similar concept for ChasingSteel.com for some time now.

The photos and videos, which change occasionally, apparently will eventually include fan-submitted content at some point. This is a great implementation of interactivity and public involvement which is the keystone of the program’s purpose.

Beyond the good use of elements and sound execution on the overall design, the site conveys a sense of commitment on UP’s part to both, the steam program and to remaining technologically current to reach the public and fans alike in this age of new media. 

I extend a “job well done” to all involved.