Kavach 4.0: Railway Minister Assesses Advanced Train Protection System, Pushes For Expedited Rollout

V Bhagya Subhashini

Jun 25, 2024, 03:40 PM | Updated 03:40 PM IST

Union Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw inspecting ‘Kavach,’ the indigenously developed automatic train protection system.
Union Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw inspecting ‘Kavach,’ the indigenously developed automatic train protection system.

Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw recently reviewed the development of the enhanced Automatic Train Protection System, known as Kavach 4.0, at Rail Bhawan.

Currently, Kavach 3.2 is being deployed on designated high-density routes. It was adopted in 2021. Kavach has already been successfully deployed on 1,465 route kilometres and 139 locomotives, including Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) rakes, on the South Central Railway.

Indian Railways plans to expedite Kavach's deployment across its entire 70,000 route kilometres to ensure passenger safety.

Officials indicated that following the development and certification of Kavach version 4.0, the railways will accelerate its installation in a mission-oriented approach. They noted that Vaishnaw instructed that the installation of Kavach be implemented systematically and expeditiously once it becomes operational, reports The Hindu.

Presently, three Indian Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) — HBL Power Systems, Kernex, and Medha — are approved for Kavach.

More manufacturers are developing the system who are in various stages of development. Being a safety system, Kavach approvals require meticulous testing at international standards before getting certified.

Indian Railways' Indigenous Anti-Train Collision System — 'Kavach'

Kavach was developed by the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) under Indian Railways. It has been adopted as the National Automatic Train Protection (ATP) System. 

Its functionality relies on five subsystems. Alongside railway tracks, three subsystems — optical fibre network, towers with radio equipment, and RFID tags — are installed, while data centres are established at railway stations and integrated into the signalling system.

Additionally, each train and locomotive is equipped with another subsystem of Kavach. It aids loco pilots by automatically applying brakes if they fail to do so within specified speed limits, ensuring safe train operations even in inclement weather.

Since 2016, the Indian Railways has been carrying out field tests for Kavach on passenger trains, with further operational improvements in the works.

Other benefits include automatic speed control on approaching turnouts, signal aspect repetition in the cab (useful for high speeds and foggy weather), and automatic whistling at level crossing gates.

V Bhagya Subhashini is a staff writer at Swarajya. She tracks infrastructure developments.

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