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Video explainer: How Automatic Train Protection system Kavach works

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Google Oneindia News

New Delhi, Mar 05: This technology is path-breaking in a country where a large population is dependant on the Railways. However, in a bid to end rail accidents, an indigenously developed Automatic Train Protection system known as Kavach (shield) has been developed.

Video explainer: How Automatic Train Protection system Kavach works

The system has been designed to ensure there are zero accidents. Moreover this is the cheapest automatic train protection system in the world. The system's test trial was conducted in Secunderabad with Railway minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw on board one of the train. The chairman of the Railway Board was also on the train with him.

During the trial, both trains using the system stopped 380 metres apart.

"Rear-end collision testing is successful. Kavach automatically stopped the Loco before 380m of other Loco at the front," Vaishnaw said.

Kavach controls the speed of the train through an application of breaks automatically. This is helpful when the loco pilot fails to apply the breaks. Kavach has been approved for a speed of 160 kilometres baed on trials.

Trains will also stop on their own when digital system notices any manual error like "jumping" of the red signal or any other malfunction, senior officials said.

Once implemented, it will cost Rs 50 lakh per kilometre to operate compared to about Rs 2 crore worldwide, they said.

A signal is passed at danger (SPAD) when a train passes a stop-signal when not allowed to do so.

'Kavach' controls the speed of the train by an automatic application of brakes in case the loco pilot fails to do so.

"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 on board consoles even when the visibility is low," an official said.

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

Currently, loco-pilots or assistant loco-pilots usually crane their necks out of the window to look out for caution signs and signals, said officials.

It also includes stationary equipment to gather signalling inputs and loco inputs and relay them to a central system to for seamless communication with the train crew and stations.

The first field trials on the passenger trains were started in February 2016 and based on the experience gained, initials specifications of the Kavach were finalised in May 2017.

Subsequently, the independent safety assessment of the system by a third party (Independent Safety Assessor. ISA) was conducted and based on the developmental project and the ISA safety assessment, three firms were approved by the Railway's RDSO (Research Design and Standards Organisation) in 2018-19 for working up to train speed of 110 kmph.

Subsequently, based on further trials, Kavach has been approved for speeds up to 160 kmph. The Railways is trying to find more suppliers of this technology.

Announced in the 2022 union Budget as a part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, 2,000 km of rail network is planned to be brought under the indigenous world-class technology 'Kavach', for safety and capacity augmentation in 2022-23.

So far, Kavach has been deployed on over 1098 route km and 65 locos in on-going projects of South Central Railway.

Further, Kavach is planned to be implemented on Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi Howrah corridors, having a total route kilometer of around 3000 km, as a part of "Mission Raftar project for raising of speeds to 160 kmph. Tenders for these works are being invited", officials said.

(With PTI inputs)

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