Ever since the Di2 was introduced, at prices that most mortals would need a mortgage re-fi to afford, there have been rumors flying (OK, make that wishes being aired) that the line-topping electronic groupset would beget a cheaper Ultegra version. Which would, undoubtedly, be a coup for the Japanese company, and confirm its leading position in terms of consumer products vis à vis its Italian rival.But, so it seems, the rumors have no basis in fact. Shimano Europe has released the following short-and-sharp press release: “On the Internet some information was published about Shimano Ultegra Di2. Please note that this is not official Shimano information.”Now. BikeBiz (the source of this info), is taking this denial as a sign that there may in fact be some substance: why should notoriously tight-lipped company need to deny anything… are some execs feeling a little jumpy, perhaps?Think you that the lady doth protest too much? (With apologies to Shakespeare.)UPDATE: We’ve heard rumor from an anonymous industry source that the current model will actually become the electronic Ultegra and that Di2 is the one getting some new-ness…smaller, lighter battery, perhaps?UPDATE #2: We just heard actual confirmation from an absolutely reliable industry source that it’s happening! Even better, it should be around half the price 0f Di2, which means it could very well put a hurt on the standard Dura-Ace mechanical group, especially at OEM…more as we get it!
For those of us looking to shed unwanted festive pounds through a healthier diet it can be a confusing business. The Times, for example, recently reported that switching from sugary drinks to diet alternatives can actually make us fatter over the long term (as we unconsciously over compensate for the subsequent caloric deficit through other comestibles). In other words, drinking diet cola will not make you thin… on its own. Similarly, to make our railways more efficient, safer and provide much-needed capacity, the adoption of a computer-based train control system will not realise the true vision of a digital railway on its own. As with long-term healthy diets, balance is the key.Digital technology is only part of the answer to improving our railways, and taken on its own it may even make things worseThe commercial and industrial world is largely driven by getting the biggest bang for its buck. So, with evidence showing that the European Train Control System (ETCS) could reduce costs by 25% and increase capacity by 40%, why not deploy it everywhere? But without considering its overall impact, adopting ETCS in isolation could have an adverse effect over the long term too by increasing the unreliability of the rail network through lack of maintenance experience, for example.ETCS has the potential to play a vital role in the brave new world of the UK railway, but it needs to be part of a range of informed decisions. Indeed, in one of the many research studies I have been involved in over the years, we found that by combining ETCS with other more conventional upgrades, such as a grade separation, the benefits of its implementation would be increased tenfold by freeing up additional train paths that could then make use of the ETCS capacity benefits.Of course, implementation is one thing, but ensuring tomorrow’s digital systems will operate efficiently and be maintainable long into the future requires fundamental organisational and cultural changes including a fully thought through and tested operational and maintenance plan.Digital technology is only part of the answer to improving our railways, and taken on its own it may even make things worse. Only through combining new technology, good old fashioned enhancements, like track realignment, and a change in the culture of how our railways operate can we make meaningful improvements to our largely Victorian railway.Working closely with all stakeholders – including route owners, train operators and technology providers – the cross-industry Network Rail lead team driving the Digital Railway forward is working hard to achieve a balanced ‘diet’ that will yield long-term improvements to the health of our UK rail.Steve Denniss is a rail technical director at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff
Newly elected Farmington city council member Maria Taylor expected to win a seat in the Tuesday, Nov. 7 local election.The 26-year-old, first-time candidate did not expect to pick up more votes than anyone else in the race. She topped the field with 1,567 of the more than 2,300 votes cast.Former Farmington city council member Joanne McShane congratulates newly elected council member Maria Taylor at Farmington Brewing Company.Taylor believes the time she spent talking with voters gave her an edge. By her own count, she knocked on more than 2,500 doors since launching her candidacy in May.“I asked them what their issues were and talked to them about those issues,” Taylor said. “I wasn’t afraid to take a stand on issues people care about.”Former Farmington city council member Joanne McShane, who publicly endorsed Taylor, said she believes the community was “ready for change.” McShane served with the youngest candidate ever elected in Farmington, long-time city council member and mayor Bill Hartsock.“I think it’s a very positive direction for the community to have a younger person with different ideas and different ways to progress in the city,” she said.Newly elected Farmington city council member Joe LaRussa celebrates at Brown Dog Barlor with his wife, Missy, and children Sofia and Matteo.Taylor and incumbent Bill Galvin, who won a second term following his appointment to council in 2011, picked up four-year terms. In an election-night statement, he said he is honored to have been re-elected. “I occasionally talk about stewardship as a locally elected official. As the elder statesmen of this new council, I hope to demonstrate that we are stewards entrusted as caretakers with accountability to serve our community,” he wrote. “The first step in this process of stewardship will be an organizational meeting. In Farmington we appoint the mayor among city council members for a two year term. It has been a rewarding experience to fulfill the mayoral duties for Farmington since 2013. However it is time to engage another council member with that figurehead leadership role. It is another exciting part of our democratic process here in Farmington.”Joe LaRussa, another first-timer, won a two-year seat with the third highest vote total.The 41-year-old industrial engineering manager and father of two said he looks forward to bringing his technical skills to the table and adding to the discussion about Farmington’s future. He was also taken aback by Tuesday’s election results.“I was surprised that two incumbents were displaced, that’s something almost unheard of in a municipal election in a small community,” he said, adding Jeff Scott and Greg Cowley were both “strong” candidates. “I’m really humbled that Farmington would give me the chance.”Get election news and more local headlines sent toyour inbox every morning (except Sunday). Reported by admin Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)