The ambitious Kavach Automatic Train Protection (ATP) system has reached a deployment milestone, covering 1465 route kilometers and 139 locomotives across the South Central Railway. This includes key sections like Lingamapalli-Vikarabad-Wadi, Manmad-Mudkhed-Dhone-Guntkal, and Bidar-Parbhani.
Expansion Plans Underway
Further expansion is already in motion. Tenders have been awarded for Kavach implementation on the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah corridors, covering approximately 3000 route kilometers. Additionally, preparatory work is ongoing for a further 6000 kilometers, including surveys, detailed project reports, and cost estimates.
Indigenous Technology with Highest Safety Standards
Developed indigenously, Kavach is a highly sophisticated system requiring the highest safety certifications. It assists loco pilots in maintaining speed limits by applying brakes automatically when necessary. This feature proves particularly valuable in inclement weather conditions.
Field Trials and Certifications
Kavach’s journey began in February 2016 with initial field trials on passenger trains. This experience, combined with independent safety assessments, led to the approval of three Indian manufacturers in 2018-19 for supplying the system. Kavach was then officially adopted as the National ATP system in 2020.
Addressing Safety Concerns
Kavach’s expansion comes in response to concerns raised after the tragic accident in Odisha’s Balasore in June 2023. This incident highlighted the need for robust anti-collision technology to improve safety on Indian railways.
Focus on Increased Capacity and Scalability
Currently, three Indian companies are authorized to manufacture Kavach. Efforts are underway to bring more onboard, enhancing production capacity and accelerating the system’s implementation across the vast Indian railway network.