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KAVACH: Enhancing Railway Safety



  Jun 21, 2024

KAVACH: Enhancing Railway Safety



Kavach is an indigenously-developed Automatic Train Protection (ATP) system designed by the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RSCO) in collaboration with three Indian firms. Its primary objective is to enhance railway safety by preventing accidents, particularly in scenarios where two trains are on the same track.

Key Features of Kavach:

1. Automatic Braking System:
Kavach controls train speed by automatically applying brakes if the locomotive driver fails to do so in time. This feature helps prevent collisions and overshooting of signals, especially during low-visibility conditions.

2. RFID Technology:
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags are installed on tracks and at station yards to identify tracks, locate trains, and determine their direction. This technology ensures that trains can be tracked and managed effectively under the Kavach system.

3. On Board Display of Signal Aspect (OBDSA):
OBDSA provides loco pilots with signal information even in poor visibility caused by bad weather. This display system enhances safety by ensuring that loco pilots can observe signals without relying solely on external visibility.

4. Emergency SOS Messaging:
Kavach includes a feature to relay SOS messages during emergency situations, enabling quick response and assistance when needed.

Deployment and Coverage:

• Currently, Kavach is operational on over 1,500 km of railway tracks.
• The Indian government plans to expand Kavach’s coverage to 2,000 km by the next operational year and aims to cover approximately 34,000 km of the railway network in the long term.
• The system is particularly targeted for deployment on critical routes like Delhi-Guwahati and Delhi-Howrah to mitigate risks and improve safety standards.

Challenges and Considerations:

• Cost is a significant consideration in operating Kavach due to its extensive technological infrastructure and maintenance requirements.
• Despite its effectiveness in preventing accidents, full implementation across India’s vast railway network remains a gradual process, subject to funding and logistical challenges.

Kavach represents a crucial step towards modernizing India’s railway safety infrastructure, aiming to reduce accidents and enhance passenger and crew safety across the nation’s extensive rail network.

 
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