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Business News/ News / India/  What is Kavach in Indian Railways? How does it prevent train accidents: Explained

On 23 March 2022, the Ministry of Railways announced a significant step towards enhancing the safety of train operations in India with the development of the indigenous Automatic Train Protection (ATP) System called Kavach. Developed in collaboration with three Indian vendors by the Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO), Kavach has been adopted as the National ATP System for Indian Railways.

Odisha Train Accident LIVE

Kavach has been designed to assist locomotive pilots in avoiding Signal Passing At Danger (SPAD) and over speeding while also providing support for train operations during adverse weather conditions such as dense fog. By automatically applying brakes when necessary, the system ensures better control over train speed and prevents potential accidents.

The key features of the Kavach system include automatic brake application in case the locomotive pilot fails to act, the provision of line-side signal display in the cabin for improved visibility in foggy conditions and at higher speeds, continuous updating of movement authority, automatic whistling at level crossings, collision avoidance through direct loco-to-loco communication, and the inclusion of an SOS feature to control trains in emergency situations.

Also Read: Odisha train accident: Here's a complete list of trains cancelled, diverted

Trials of Kavach were conducted on the Lingampally–Vikarabad–Wadi and Vikarabad–Bidar sections of South Central Railway, covering a distance of 250 kilometres. Following successful trials, three vendors were approved for further developmental orders on the Indian Railways network.

The total expenditure incurred on the development of Kavach stands at 16.88 crores. The rollout of Kavach is planned on the New Delhi–Howrah and New Delhi–Mumbai sections, with a target completion date of March 2024. Further expansion will be based on the experience gained from the initial implementation.

Also Read: Odisha train accident: How did the 3 trains crashed at Balasore?

The Minister of Railways, Communications, and Electronic & Information Technology, Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, provided this information in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, highlighting the government's commitment to ensuring the safety and efficiency of train operations through technological advancements like Kavach.

Could Kavach have prevented the Odisha train accident?

Kavach hit the news after an incident in Balasore district of Odisha, one of the most catastrophic train disasters in the annals of India's railway history. Three trains collided in a sequence of events, resulting in an alarming loss of human life, with a confirmed toll of at least 233 fatalities and over 900 individuals sustaining injuries.

Amid the aftermath of the incident, it remains unclear whether any of the trains involved in the collision were equipped with the Kavach system. Many are now arguing that Kavach would have prevented the accident. But, everything seems to be left to speculations at the moment.

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Sounak Mukhopadhyay
Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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Updated: 03 Jun 2023, 10:44 AM IST
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