Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw during the live testing of Kavach, this indigenously developed Automatic Train Protection System (Twitter, Ashwini Vaishnaw)
What is Kavach?
- It is India’s very own automatic protection system in development since 2012, under the name Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), which got rechristened to Kavach or “armor”.
- It is a set of electronic devices and Radio Frequency Identification devices installed in locomotives, in the signalling system as well the tracks, that talk to each other using ultra-high radio frequencies to control the brakes of trains and also alert drivers, all based on the logic programmed into them.
- TCAS or Kavachincludes the key elements from already existing, and tried and tested systems like the European Train Protection and Warning System, and the indigenous Anti Collision Device.
- It will also carry features of the high-tech European Train Control System Level-2 in the future.
- Kavach adheres to the highest level of safety and reliability standard called Safety Integrity Level 4.
- In the new avatar, India wants to position Kavach as an exportable system, a cheaper alternative to the European systems in vogue across the world.
- While now Kavach uses Ultra High Frequency, work is on to make it compatible with 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology and make the product for global markets.
The Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) in Lucknow along with private vendors are developing the system.
- The Kavach system will help prevent accidents on rail tracks like the collision of trains.
- Once the system is activated, all trains within a 5-km range will halt to provide protection for trains on adjacent tracks.
- Currently, the loco-pilots or assistant loco-pilots have to look out for caution signs and signals.