Published on: June 6, 2023

Kavach system

Kavach system

Why in news? The death of passengers in the ghastly train accident at Bahanaga Bazaar railway station in the Balasore district of Odisha has brought into sharp focus the safety mechanisms needed to prevent such tragedies.


What is Kavach?

  • The KAVACH is an indigenously developed Automatic Train Protection (ATP) system by the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) in collaboration with the Indian industry.
  • The trials were facilitated by the South Central Railway to achieve safety in train operations across Indian Railways.
  • It is a state-of-the-art electronic system with Safety Integrity Level-4 (SIL-4) standards meant to provide protection by preventing trains to pass the signal at Red (which marks danger) and avoid collision.
  • It activates the train’s braking system automatically if the driver fails to control the train as per speed restrictions. In addition, it prevents the collision between two locomotives equipped with functional Kavach systems.

How does Kavach work on Railway Systems?

  • The Traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS), with the help of equipment on board the locomotive and transmission towers at stations connected with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags, helps in two-way communication between the station master and loco-pilot to convey any emergency message.

Where has Kavach been implemented?

  • The trial was inspected of the Kavach working system between Gullaguda-Chitgidda Railway stations on Lingampalli-Vikarabad section in the Secunderabad Division of South Central Railway
  • The South Central Railway (SCR) Zone is a pioneer in the implementation of the KAVACH – (TACS).
  • IRISET has been mandated by the Railway Board to train the in-service railway staff on Kavach.

What is the Kavach deployment strategy?

  • Implementation’s first priority are the High Density Routes and the New Delhi-Mumbai and New Delhi-Howrah Sections, as they have higher chances of accidents because the trains run closer to each other.
  • The second priority lines are the Highly Used Networks, the third ones are other Passenger High Density Routes and the final priority is of course to cover all other routes.
  • Glitches about vulnerability of a vehicle crossing a closed level crossing, stray cattle or boulders on track, radio communication issues in tunnels, ghat sections, have been tackled.