Kavach: An indigenous Automatic Train Protection System

Kavach: An indigenous Automatic Train Protection System

News Analysis   /   Kavach: An indigenous Automatic Train Protection System

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Published on: March 05, 2022

Source: PIB

Why in News?

Recently, the Indian Railways tested 'Kavach'-Automatic Train Protection System by making two trains move towards each other at full speed.

The Kavach system was announced in the 2022 Union Budget as a part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative. Around 2,000 km of rail network is planned to be brought under the indigenous system to enable safety and capacity augmentation in 2022-23.

What is Kavach?

It is India’s own automatic protection system, which is in development since 2012, under the name Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), which got rechristened Kavach or “armour”.

It is a set of electronic devices and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) devices installed in locomotives, in the signalling system as well as the tracks.

They connect 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 Kavach includes 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 future.

The current form of Kavach adheres to the highest level of safety and reliability standard called Safety Integrity Level (SIL)4.

SIL comes from two voluntary standards used by plant owners/operators to quantify safety performance requirements for hazardous operations.

There are four SIL Levels (1-4). A higher SIL Level means a greater process hazard and a higher level of protection required.

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.

Work is on to make the system such that it can be compatible with other already installed systems globally.


What is the Significance?


The Kavach system will help prevent accidents on rail tracks like 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.


It will only cost Rs 50 lakh per kilometre to operate in comparison to about Rs 2 crore worldwide.


It will also include stationary equipment to gather signalling inputs and relay them to a central system to enable seamless communication with the train crew and stations.

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