India’s “Kavach Technology” trial on 4th March at the Secunderabad railway junction at Hyderabad was successfully conducted. Two trains, one carrying the Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and the other carrying the Railway board chairman, VK Tripathi hurtled towards each other but collision was prevented by the “Kavach” system.
What is Kavach Technology?
The automatic system applied breaks when the trains were 200 meters apart. “Kavach” which translates to “armour” is completely developed in India and is said to be the cheapest automatic train collision protection system.
The automatic protection system is in development since 2012, under the name Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS). It was announced as a part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative in the 2022 Union Budget. 2,000 km of the rail network is planned to be brought under ‘Kavach’.
“Loop-line crossing test is done. Kavach automatically restricts the speed to 30 Kmph (allowed speed) while crossing/entering loop-line.” Vaishnaw tweeted after the successful trial of the system. It is designed to achieve the 0 accident goal of the Indian Railways.
What will be the cost for this Technology?
The cost of the system is expected to be 50 lack per kilometer to operate when compared to a general cost of 2 crores worldwide, according to an official statement. The system can also detect human errors and other malfunctions and will bring the train to halt.
The system will also stop all the trains in the 5 km range to prevent any damage. It works on the principle of continuous update of movement by using high-frequency radio communication. It also conforms to SIL-4 (Safety Integrity Level – 4) which is the highest level of safety certification.
“RFID tags are provided on the tracks and at station yard for each track and signals for track identification, location of trains and identification of train direction. The ‘On Board Display of Signal Aspect’ (OBDSA) is to help loco pilots check signals onboard consoles even when the visibility is low,” an official said explaining the working of the previous system.
The current system to avoid train collisions is a more primitive one where the loco-pilots or assistant loco-pilots usually crane their necks out of the window to look out for caution signs and signals. The new system will help in dealing with collisions more effectively.