Rail News

Indian Railway’s ‘Kavach’ to Make Train Journey Safer

Indian Railways will use automatic train collision prevention technology named “Kavach” to avoid collisions between two trains. Kavach is a Sanskrit word that means a shield. Each year, many cases of train accidents happen all over the world. European and Japanese have developed the most advanced technology to prevent collisions of trains. Instead of relying on costly foreign tech to prevent train accidents, the Indian Government is working to develop anti-collision technology that would save many lives.  


Recently, this indigenously developed technology was successfully tested with Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on one side and another with the Railway Board Chairman VK Tripathi on two separate trains in their opposite direction on the same track. The testing was done in South Central Zone, Secunderabad. According to the 2022-23 budget proposals, protection will be provided for the first 2,000 km routes, and further, it will be extended to the 35,000 km route.



Kavach to Boost Safety in Trains


The ‘Make in India Rail safety project’ was initiated in 2012 under the name Train Collision Avoidance System, now given the exclusive name “Kavach”. The literal meaning of Kavach is armour, which means something that provides protection. It is an automatic protection system that avoids two trains to collide. 


What will happen when two trains race toward each other on the same track? It occurs a major accident. But, thanks to the developed Indian Railway technology that has instigated such a safety system to prevent the rail crash between two trains.


It was a historical day in India when Kavach Prevention Technology was tested successfully. The Indian Railways was working continuously on this project. When two trains run on the same track at high speed, the Kavach technology will stop the train 380 metres away with its automatic brake system. 


This automatic prevention technique will stop the trains to collide. With the help of this digital system, the train will automatically stop where it sensors that people are ignoring the red signal or in the situation of any other railway mishappenings. 



Features of ‘Kavach’ 


‘Kavach’, the automatic train collision prevention system, works on the principle of continuous update movement. Following are the features of Automatic Train Protection System (ATP) Kavach:


  • Kavach controls the train’s speed and stops the train automatically when the driver fails to handle the situation suddenly.
  • When the train’s speeds are higher, and during foggy weather, the system works actively to control the collision situation. The sideline Signal Aspects are repeated in-cab, interfacing with the existing Signal Interlocking System.
  • Using a radio communication system in the UHF range controls the brake automatically, and the train stops.
  • There is an auto-whistle system installed in trains.
  • Kavach is also installed with a non-signalling feature to prevent the collision, which is non-SIL.
  • It also obeys the rules of Safety Integrity -Level -4, which comes under the highest level of safety certification.
  • RFID tags are awarded on the tracks and at the station’s yard, and the signals are provided for the tracks and trains identification.
  • It also alerts the trains within the range of 5 km, and the trains will halt to protect trains on adjacent tracks.
  • It is prepared for a speed of 160 km per hour.



How Does Kavach Train Collision Prevention Technology Work?


Kavach system is a set of electronic devices and Radio Frequency Identification Devices. It uses a signal using ultra high radio frequencies to control the train brakes automatically. It also alerts the train pilots or drivers to avoid accidents. It continuously updates the train’s movement information. The moment it sensors any danger, its automatic brake function stops the train. It often happens when the train pilots fail to respond randomly or in the lack of clear visibility during dense fog that causes a major rail accident. 


An automatic sensor is installed in train locomotives that signal the system to apply brakes to avoid such mishaps. After the successful trial, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw tweeted,


“As the gate approaches, Kavach automatically initiates whistling without any intervention from the driver. Auto Whistle test is done successfully”. #BharatKaKavach


Some Basic Terms of Kavach

  • TCAS: Train Collision Avoidance System 
  • RFID: Radio Frequency Identification
  • RDSO: Research Design and Standards Organization 
  • UHF: Ultra High Frequency

What Is Kavach?


Kavach is an anti-collision automatic train collision prevention system. It has been developed by Indian Railways indigenously. The tech would enable railways to save many lives and losses caused due to train accidents. 



Who Developed Kavach Indigenous Automatic Protection System?


Kavach Automatic Protection System is developed by Research Design and Standards Organization (RDSO) in collaboration with the Indian Industry. It results from dedicated scientists and engineers who worked hard to build an automatic system that can prevent train accidents and move Indian Railways one step closer to achieving zero accidents. 


What Is the Principle on Which Kavach Works?


Kavach works on the principle of continuous update movement. It uses multiple techniques to alert the train driver and apply brakes in case the driver fails to do so. 


When Was the Trial of Kavach Done?


The historical day when the Kavach was tested is on March 4, 2022. On this day, Indian Railways’ most awaited tech was tested and found to be very successful.



How Much Does It Cost to Manage Kavach Prevention System?


Railway officers and experts expect a total cost of 50 lakhs per kilometre to conduct this protection system, whereas at the global level, managing this safety system costs around 2 crores per kilometre.


Indian Railways plans to make Kavach a world class Automatic Train Protection System. It is involved in improving the system by enhancing features like the development of Kavach on LTE, Direct Interface with Interlocking, and Interface with another ATP system. This system will bring a revolutionary change to Indian Technological Department and across the globe as well.


The Indian Railway is frequently upgrading and bringing innovations and updates in these years. To get an update about trains, stations, and more, stay tuned with the one stop railway news app RailMitra. It keeps you informed about the changes and railway related updates like PNR Status, check seat availability, train live running status etc. 


Anywhere you travel in India, enjoy your train ride with RailMitra. Keep up with us to learn more about Kavach and Indian Railway news.

Author: Sanjay Kumar

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