From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Kavach
Mains level : Highs speed railways in India and safety parameters
Kavach, this indigenously developed Automatic Train Protection System is earmarked for aggressive rollout on 2,000 km in 2022-23, according the Budget proposals.
What is Kavach?
- It is India’s very own automatic protection system in development since 2012, under the name Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), which got rechristened to Kavach or “armour”.
- Simply put, it is a set of electronic devices and Radio Frequency Identification devices installed in locomotives, in the signalling system as well 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.
Key features of Kavach
- One of its features is that by continuously refreshing the movement information of a train, it is able to send out triggers when a loco pilot jumps signal, called Signal Passed at Danger (SPAD).
- The devices also continuously relay the signals ahead to the locomotive, making it useful for loco pilots in low visibility, especially during dense fog.
- It includes the key elements from already existing, and tried and tested systems like the European Train Protection and Warning System, and the indigenous Anti Collison 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 4.
What is the upgrade?
- 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.
How far is the rollout?
- So far, Kavach has been deployed on over 1,098 km and 65 locomotives in ongoing projects of the South Central Railway.
- In future it will be implemented on 3000 km of the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah corridors where the tracks and systems are being upgraded to host a top speed of 160 kmph.
- Further, over 34,000 km on the High Density Network (HDN) and Highly Utilized Network (HUN) of on the Golden Quadrilateral have been included in its sanctioned plans.