Indian Railways introduces indigenous anti-collision system Kavach

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Indian Railways introduces indigenous anti-collision system Kavach

  • Kavach, indigenously developed Automatic Train Protection System, was showcased on South Central Railway recently
  • It is earmarked for an aggressive rollout of 2,000 km in 2022-23, according to the Budget proposals.

About Kavach

  • It is India’s very own automatic protection system in development since 2012, under the name Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS)
  • It was later renamed as Kavach or “armour”.
  • It is a set of electronic devices and Radio Frequency Identification devices installed in locomotives, in the signalling system as well the tracks, that talk to each other using ultra high radio frequencies to control the brakes of trains and also alert drivers,
  • These all are based on the logic programmed into them.
  • One of its features is that by continuously refreshing the movement information of a train, it is able to send out triggers when a loco pilot jumps signal, called Signal Passed at Danger (SPAD)
  • It is a grave offence in railway operations with respect to safety, and the key to accidents like collision.
  • The devices also continuously relay the signals ahead to the locomotive, making it useful for loco pilots in low visibility, especially during dense fog.
  • It includes the key elements from already existing, and tried and tested systems like the European Train Protection and Warning System, and the indigenous Anti Collision Device.
  • It will also carry features of the high-tech European Train Control System Level-2 in future. * The current form of Kavach adheres to the highest level of safety and reliability standard called Safety Integrity Level 4.

Way Ahead for Kavach

  • India wants to position Kavach as an exportable system, a cheaper alternative to the European systems in vogue across the world.
  • While now Kavach uses Ultra High Frequency, work is on to make it compatible with 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology and make the product for global markets. Work is on to make the system such that it can be compatible with other already installed systems globally.
  • The Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) in Lucknow along with private vendors are developing the system.
  • In the next phase, the Kavach system will also be able to recalibrate as per temporary speed restrictions en route, something the system does not yet have.