India planning automatic train protection system, not yet rolled out before tragic crash in Odisha

It would be able to prevent collisions with direct loco-to-loco communication, and also control the speed with automatic brakes

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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP


Published: Sat 3 Jun 2023, 3:28 PM

The train accident in Odisha's Balasore, which killed at least 280 people and injured nearly 1,000, has brought the railways' automatic train protection system 'Kavach' into focus.

The railways has said that 'Kavach' was not available on the route where the accident occurred on Friday evening.

What is 'Kavach'?

Indian Railways has developed its own automatic train protection system called 'Kavach' to enhance the safety of running trains. 'Kavach' has been developed indigenously by the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) in association with three Indian vendors.

The system will not only help the loco pilot avoid signal passing at danger and over-speeding, but will also help in running the train in inclement weather conditions such as dense fog.

'Kavach' is reportedly controls the speed of a train by automatic application of brakes, repeats line-side signal in cab, auto-whistles at level-crossing gates, and prevents collisions by direct loco to loco communications. It would also send an SOS in case of a mishap.

Salient features of Kavach - Controls speed of a train by automatic application of brakes in case loco pilot fails to apply the brakes.

Following successful trials, three vendors were approved for further developmental orders on the Indian Railways network. The roll-out is planned on the New Delhi-Howrah and New Delhi-Mumbai sections, with a target completion date of March 2024.


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