General Studies IIIIndustryINFRASTRUCTURE

Kavach: Train Collision Avoidance System


India tested indigenously developed Automatic Train Protection System on South Central Railway recently.

About Kavach:

  • It is India’s very own automatic protection system in development since 2012, under the name Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), which got rechristened to Kavach or “armour”.
  • Simply put, it is a set of electronic devices and Radio Frequency Identification devices installed in locomotives, in the signalling system as well the tracks.
  • They connect to each other using ultra high radio frequencies to control the brakes of trains and also alert drivers, all based on the logic programmed into them.
  • TCAS or Kavach 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 Kavach system was announced in the 2022 Union Budget as a part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative. Around 2,000 km of rail network is planned to be brought under the indigenous system to enable safety and capacity augmentation in 2022-23.

Key features of Kavach

  • 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).
  • 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 Collison 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.

What is the upgrade?

  • In the new avatar, 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.

What is the Significance?

  • Safety:
    • The Kavach system will help prevent accidents on rail tracks like collision of trains.
    • Once the system is activated, all trains within a 5-km range will halt to provide protection for trains on adjacent tracks.
      • Currently, the loco-pilots or assistant loco-pilots have to look out for caution signs and signals.
  • Cost:
    • It will only cost Rs 50 lakh per kilometre to operate in comparison to about Rs 2 crore worldwide.
  • Communication:
    • It will also include stationary equipment to gather signalling inputs and relay them to a central system to enable seamless communication with the train crew and stations.

How far is the rollout?

  • So far, Kavach has been deployed on over 1,098 km and 65 locomotives in ongoing projects of the South Central Railway.
  • In future it will be implemented on 3000 km of the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah corridors where the tracks and systems are being upgraded to host a top speed of 160 kmph.
  • Further, over 34,000 km on the High Density Network (HDN) and Highly Utilized Network (HUN) of on the Golden Quadrilateral have been included in its sanctioned plans.

Facts about Indian Railways

  • The Fairy Queen is the oldest functioning steam engine in the world. It is plying between New Delhi and Alwar in Rajasthan.
  • Four sites of Indian Railways have been declared as “World Heritage sites” by the UNESCO. They are Darjeeling-Himalayan Railway, Nilgiri Mountain, Mumbai CST, and Kalka-Shimla Railways.
  • Indian Railways was nationalized in 1951
  • Toilets were introduced on Indian Railways in 1909.
  • Indian Railways started computerized reservation in New Delhi in 1986.
  • Indian Railways is the world’s second-largest network operated under a single administration and the largest rail network in Asia.
  • The railway runs more than 7,421 cargo trains carrying 3 million tons of freight daily.

  • Indian Railway has gone into a select club of railways that includes China, Russia, and the USA in carrying more than one billion tons of cargo yearly.
  • According to the Acworth Committee in 1920-21, the railway finances of India were separated from the general government finances in 1924.
  • In 1994, the first live telecast of the railway budget took place.
  • Recently Railway and General Budget have merged.
  • India’s fastest train has successfully completed a trial run at 160 km per hour on the route between Delhi and Agra in just 90 minutes.
  • In 2000, Mamata Banerjee was the first woman to become Railway Minister.
  • She holds the record of being the only woman who introduced the railway budget for two different governments in the Parliament (UPA and NDA).
  • The Gatimaan Express (New Delhi- Agra) is currently the fastest train.
  • The Mettupalayam-Ooty Nilgiri Passenger train is the slowest train which runs at an average speed of 10 kmph.
  • The New Delhi Railway Station has the world’s largest Route Relay Interlocking System.
  • Indian Railways is the world’s seventh-largest employer with over 1.4 million employees on its rolls.
  • The renewed platform at Gorakhpur Railway Station in Uttar Pradesh has become the world’s longest, measuring 1,366 meters.
  • Indian Railways is building the world’s highest railway bridge five times the height of Qutub Minar and 35 meters taller than Eiffel Tower.
  • Indian Railways’ longest tunnel is Pir Panjal that links Kashmir Valley with Banihal in Jammu.
  • Station with the shortest name is Ib in Odisha.
  • Venkatanarasimharajuvaripeta is the station with the longest name.

Source: Indian Express

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