India’s indigenous Automatic Train Protection (ATP) system, Kavach, stands as a remarkable technological advancement in the railway sector. Developed to prioritize utmost safety, Kavach plays a pivotal role in assisting loco pilots to maintain trains within specified speed limits by automatically applying brakes in case the pilot fails to do so. Additionally, this cutting-edge system ensures secure train operations even during unfavorable weather conditions.
The journey of Kavach began with its initial field trials for passenger trains commencing in February 2016. Based on the invaluable insights gained from these trials and an Independent Safety Assessment conducted by a third party, three firms received approval for the supply of Kavach in the year 2018-19. Following this milestone, Kavach was officially adopted as the National ATP system in July 2020, solidifying its position as a vital component of India’s railway safety measures.
Presently, Kavach has been successfully deployed on 1465 route km and 121 locomotives, including Electric Multiple Unit rakes, on the South Central Railway. Furthermore, tenders for the implementation of Kavach on the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah corridors, totaling approximately 3000 route km, have been awarded, with work underway on these critical routes. The Indian Railways is also actively preparing the Detailed Project Report (DPR) and detailed estimates for an additional 6000 route km, indicating a strong commitment to expanding Kavach’s safety coverage.
To date, the total expenditure on Kavach implementation amounts to Rs 3519.1 million. The cost for providing Trackside equipment, including Station equipment, for Kavach stands at approximately Rs 5 million per kilometer, while the cost for equipping a locomotive with Kavach is around Rs 7 million per loco. Currently, there are three Indian Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) approved for Kavach, and efforts are underway to engage more vendors to increase capacity and expand the implementation of this crucial safety system.
In a recent development, Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Minister of Railways, Communications, and Electronic and Information Technology, presented this significant information in a written response to a question in Rajya Sabha, underscoring the government’s commitment to ensuring a safer and more efficient railway system through the adoption of advanced technology like Kavach.
As Kavach continues to prove its mettle in safeguarding passengers and train operations, it stands as a beacon of progress in India’s pursuit of excellence in rail safety and serves as a testament to the nation’s indigenous technological capabilities.
(Source: Minister of Railways, Communications, and IT, Rajya Sabha)