Railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw asks staff to scale up Kavach installation | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw asks staff to scale up Kavach installation

Jun 23, 2024 10:31 PM IST

Union minister of railways Ashwini Vaishnaw reviewed the progress of Kavach on Saturday in which officials presented the progress of Version 4.0 of Kavach

Union minister of railways Ashwini Vaishnaw conducted a meeting on Saturday, five days after the Bengal train accident, and asked his team to scale up the installation of Kavach, an automatic train protection system that is believed to have helped prevent the train collision.

Union minister of railways Ashwini Vaishnaw. (HTFile Photo)
Union minister of railways Ashwini Vaishnaw. (HTFile Photo)

“The minister reviewed the progress of Kavach on Saturday in which officials presented the progress of Version 4.0 of Kavach,” an official close to the development said.

After development of Kavach 4.0 and its certification, Indian Railways (IR) will scale up installation of Kavach in mission mode, a second official in the know of the development said. He said that more manufacturers are developing the system who are in various stages of development.

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“IR will complete installing Kavach on Delhi- Mumbai and Delhi- Howrah route by March next year. Tenders for another 6,000-km route are expected to be floated by December this year,” he added.

On June 17, Sealdah bound Kanchanjungha Express was hit by a Goods train in North Bengal impacting the rear end of the passenger train that killed ten people and injured at least 41. The accident raised concern about the absence of the Kavach system on the route, which would have helped to avoid the collision.

Kavach can trigger automatic application of brakes in case of an emergency when the train driver fails to act in time, ensuring safe train operations even in bad weather. To be sure, the system works only when two trains are on the same track.

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IR, officials said, is looking to have more manufacturers for faster installation of the system.

The three approved manufacturers are in the advanced stages of testing Kavach version 4.0, the official said.

“In the review meeting, Vaishnaw directed that Kavach installation should be taken up in a planned manner in mission mode on all locos as soon as it is ready,” he added.

The current system, Kavach 3.2, will be upgraded to Kavach 4.0, officials said.

Most major railway systems in the world moved to ATP in the 1980s. Indian Railway, however, started this journey with approval of the first version of Train Collision Avoidance System in 2016. The system was tried and tested to achieve SIL4 in 2019, the highest level of safety certification.

The system was approved as a National ATP system in 2020. Despite Covid-19 pandemic, further testing and development continued, and in 2021, version 3.2 of the system was certified and adapted, and work began on high density routes Delhi – Mumbai and Delhi – Howrah in the last quarter of 2022.

An official said, “Any ATP system requires five subsystems for functioning; Optical fibre network along the railway tracks; towers and radio equipment along the railway tracks; RFID tags installed on railway tracks; data centre at railway stations and integration with signalling systems.”

“The installation of Kavach is our top priority and all efforts are being made for its faster installation,” the official added.

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