Understanding the Kavach system

Source: The post is based on the article “Understanding the Kavach system” published in The Hindu on 5th June 2023

What is the News?

The death of over 288 passengers in the train accident in Odisha has brought into sharp focus the safety mechanisms needed to prevent such tragedies.

What is Kavach?

KAVACH is an indigenously developed Automatic Train Protection(ATP) System for Indian Railways.

Developed by: Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) in collaboration with the Indian industry.

What are the features and significance of KAVACH?

Must read: Kavach System

The Traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS), with the help of equipment on board the locomotive and transmission towers at stations connected with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. This helps in two-way communication between the station master and loco-pilot to convey any emergency message. The instrument panel inside the cabin helps the loco-pilot know about the signal in advance without visual sighting, and the permissible speeds to be maintained.

If a red signal is jumped and two trains come face to face on the same line, the technology automatically takes over and applies sudden brakes.

Note: Both the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express and the Yeshwanthpur-Howrah Express were not fitted with KAVACH-TACS. The Kavach system project is yet to be implemented on the Howrah-Kharagpur-Chennai line. 

Where has Kavach been implemented?

The South Central Railway (SCR) Zone is a pioneer in the implementation of the KAVACH – (TACS). The Kavach system has been deployed over 1,465 kms in the SCR limits in 77 locomotives and 135 stations till March this year.

The Secunderabad-based Indian Railways Institute of Signal Engineering & Telecommunications (IRISET) hosts the ‘Centre of Excellence’ for Kavach. IRISET has been mandated by the Railway Board to train the in-service railway staff on Kavach.

What is the Kavach deployment strategy?

The first priority is the High-Density Routes and the New Delhi-Mumbai and New Delhi-Howrah Sections, as they have higher chances of accidents because the trains run closer to each other.

The second priority lines are the Highly Used Networks, the third ones are other Passenger High-Density Routes and the final priority is of course to cover all other routes.

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