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Railways in the process of installing 'Kavach' on its network: Ministry

The minister also clarified that there was no fault on the tracks, as earlier suspected
Last Updated : 03 June 2023, 17:31 IST

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With the train accident in Odisha's Balasore having brought the automatic train protection system "Kavach" into focus, the Indian Railways has said it is in the process to install it on its entire network.

The railways said that "Kavach" was not installed on the route where the accident occurred on Friday evening. However, Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Saturday said this accident happened not because of the absence of Kavach, instead it was a fault on the track diversion point system.

“Kavach was not an issue in this accident. It was a f3-Railways in the process to install Kavach on its route...We have ordered a probe. Everything will be known in the investigation,” Vaishnaw told the media at the accident site. He also said that the Commissioner of Railway Safety is expected to start a probe immediately.

The minister also clarified that there was no fault on the tracks, as earlier suspected.

What is 'Kavach'?

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

Kavach prevents train collisions, including head-on and rare collisions also. The system comes into action when a loco pilot jumps a signal (Signal Passed at Danger — SPAD), which is among the leading causes of train collisions. The system can alert the loco pilot, take control of the brakes and bring the train to a halt automatically when it notices another train on the same line within a prescribed distance.

Kavach is also helpful for trains running in inclement weather such as dense fog.

So far, Kavach is operating on 1,455 route km on South Central Railway and tenders have been awarded on 2,951 route km on Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi Howrah sections. This is targeted for commissioning in 2024, the railways said in a statement.

"Kavach" has been sanctioned on 35,736 route km of High-Density Network (HDN) and High Utilised Network (HUN) of Indian Railways. The preparatory survey is in progress on 6,000 route km of the remaining Golden Quadrilateral/Golden Diagonal (GQ-GD) for the next phase of the Kavach rollout, said a statement from the railways.

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Published 03 June 2023, 17:31 IST

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