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Train protection system ‘Kavach’ fully functional on 1,500-km route: Minister Vaishnaw

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NEW DELHI: The indigenously-developed automatic train protection system ‘Kavach’ has been fully installed on 1,500 km of train route, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Wednesday, adding a significant progress has been made to increase its coverage.

“We started our journey with the Kavach system in 2016 and till 2020, its pilot work, testing, modification and version enhancement were done. It was in the beginning of 2022, its production and installation started on a large scale,” Vaishnaw said during an interaction with journalists.

“Today, we have installed the system on 1,500-km route and a significant progress has been made (for its installation) on another 3,000-km route on the Mumbai-Howrah and the Delhi-Howrah route,” he said.

‘Kavach’ is an automatic train protection system for enhancing safety of running trains. It has been developed indigenously by the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) in association with three Indian vendors.

‘Kavach’ not only helps loco pilots to avoid signal passing at danger and over-speeding but also helps in train running during inclement weather such as dense fog, leading to enhanced safety and efficiency of train operations.

Some features of the system are controlling speed of trains by automatic application of brakes in case loco pilot fails to apply the brakes and repeating line-side signal in cab which is very useful for higher speeds.

Vaishnaw said that with continuous efforts, the railways has made a significant capacity enhancement to install ‘Kavach’ on 1,500-km route every year.

Elaborating about the system, he said that it is not a device which can be installed in locomotives only. Instead, according to him, it is a complete system which has multiple components to install at stations, locomotives, tracks and along the routes in the form of towers and radio equipment.

“We floated the tender for 3,000 km installation in December 2022 and the progress report is very encouraging. Radio survey and radio design, which is the most critical part of the system, is 98 per cent complete. Station Kavach installation is 33 per cent complete, 58 per cent of tower installation along the track has been done,” the minister said.

He added that the Kavach next generation, which is a 4G- and 5G-based system, has also been developed and in December 2023 or January 2024, the railways will float a tender for its installation on 3,000 km tracks.

“In May-June 2024, we will float another tender for 6,000 km of installation of Kavach,” Vaishnaw said.

The minister added that as his focus is capacity enhancement, he has set a target of achieving 2,500 km of ‘Kavach’ installation in 2024-25 from the present capacity of 1,500 km.

“In the year 2025-26, we will take the capacity to 5,000 km per year. With this rapid progress of Kavach, we will cover the entire network within a short period of time,” he said.

“For Kavach installation, the Golden Quadrilateral-Golden Diagonal (GQGD) route has got top priority followed by high-density and high-utilisation network areas,” he added. (PTI)

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