- Kavach or “armor” is the indigenously-developed system that prevents collisions between trains.
- It is also known as Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS).
- It is being developed since 2012 and in 2016 first field trials were conducted.
- At present, it is operational in the Lingampalli & Vikarabad section of the South Central Railway (SCR) zone.
- It will be soon operational all over India in a gradual manner, as proposed in the Budget.
- Kavach will cost around Rs 30 lakh to 50 lakh per kilometer, while the imported system will cost around Rs 2.5 crores a kilometer. Thus, Kavach will help India in cutting import costs and saving forex reserves.
Mechanism of Kavach
- Kavach system allows station master and loco-pilot to effectively communicate with each other during times of emergency. This is made possible with the following components:
- Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags on the railway sleepers.
- Transmission towers are connected with the electronic devices inside the locomotive and at stations.
- Loco-plot will be informed in advance by the instruments regarding the safe speeds to be maintained. He will also get to know in advance about the signal, without the need to directly see the signal.
- If loco-pilot jumps red signal, especially when trains are on the same line facing each other (Signal Passed at Danger (SPAD)), then the Kavach system will automatically apply brakes to prevent an accident.
- Also, the system will alert the loco-pilot by making sounds if the train is approaching level-crossing. This will be extremely useful in adverse weather conditions like fog, where the visibility will be poor.
- It will automatically shift the train speeds to safe limits if the train is moving on curves, bridges, etc.
The recent test of the Kavach system
- On 4th March 2022, Union Minister of Railways and Railway Board chief executive officer (CEO), along with other officials, traveled in two trains that were moving towards each other on the same line.
- Kavach system automatically applied brakes and stopped the trains 380 meters apart, thereby preventing an accident. This test successfully demonstrated the safety and efficacy of the Kavach system.
- The indigenous kavach system adheres to the spirit of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’. It will also improve India’s rankings in passenger safety.
Source: THE HINDU.