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What is Kavach?

  • The KAVACH is an indigenously developed Automatic Train Protection (ATP) system by the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) in collaboration with the Indian industry.

  • The trials were facilitated by the South Central Railway to achieve safety in train operations across Indian Railways.

  • It is a state-of-the-art electronic system with Safety Integrity Level-4 (SIL-4) standards.

  • It is a set of electronic devices and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) devices installed in locomotives, in the signalling system as well as the tracks.

  • ‘Kavach’ is one of the cheapest, SIL-4 certified technologies where the probability of error is 1 in 10,000 years.

  • An added feature is the centralised live monitoring of train movements through the Network Monitor System. 

  • Once the system is activated, all trains within a 5-km range will halt to provide protection for trains on adjacent tracks.

  • It will only cost Rs 50 lakh per kilometre to operate in comparison to about Rs 2 crore worldwide.

How does Kavach work on Railway Systems?

  • It is meant to provide protection by preventing trains to pass the signal at Red (which marks danger) and avoid collision.

  • It activates the train’s braking system automatically if the driver fails to control the train as per speed restrictions. 

  • In addition, it prevents the collision between two locomotives equipped with functional Kavach systems. 

  • The system also relays SoS messages during emergency situations. 

  • 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, 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.

  • Additionally, the hooter activates by itself when approaching a level crossing which serves as a big boon to loco-pilots during fog conditions when visibility is low.

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 2023.

  • 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 inservice railway staff on Kavach. 

  • The Institute’s Kavach lab carries out round the year training programmes.

What is the Kavach deployment strategy?

  • Kavach implementation is being taken up in a focused manner by the Railway Board.

  • The first priority are 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.

  • The RDSO has approved three firms —Medha Servo Drives, HBL and Kernex — for providing Kavach equipment with two more being in the pipeline. 

Glitches about vulnerability of a vehicle crossing a closed level crossing, stray cattle or boulders on track, radio communication issues in tunnels, ghat sections, have been tackled.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Kavach UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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