Railway minister reviews advanced version of Kavach, directs installation in mission mode when ready

Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has reviewed the progress of the advanced version of the Automatic Train Protection System (ATP) Kavach 4.0 at the Rail Bhawan here, officials said on Monday.
Representative image
Representative image

New Delhi | Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has reviewed the progress of the advanced version of the Automatic Train Protection System (ATP) Kavach 4.0 at the Rail Bhawan here, officials said on Monday.

Kavach 3.2 version is being installed on approved high-density routes, the railway officials said, adding that upgrading and installation of the latest version on new routes will go on simultaneously to cover a wider railway network in a shorter period.

They said Vaishnaw reviewed the progress of Kavach 4.0 on June 22.

"The three manufacturers of Kavach who are in the advanced stage of testing version 4.0 presented its progress report to the minister," a senior railway official said.

After reviewing it, the minister directed that Kavach installation be taken up in a planned manner in mission mode as soon as it is ready, he added.

The railway ministry maintains that the development of Kavach is a significant milestone in railway safety.

In the past, Vaishnaw stated on several occasions during interaction with the media that while most major railway systems in the world moved to ATP in the 1980s, the Indian Railways started this journey with the approval of the first version of the Train Collision Avoidance System in 2016.

In 2019, after rigorous trials and testing, this safety system received SIL4 certification, the highest level of safety certification in the world.

It was approved as a national ATP system in 2020 and despite the outbreak of COVID-19, testing and development continued, according to the Railways.

In 2021, version 3.2 of the system was certified and adopted and in the last quarter of 2022, work was started to install this version on high-density network routes of Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah.

Experts associated with the installation of the Automatic Train Protection system are of the view that this kind of system requires five subsystems for functioning.

Three subsystems such as an optical fibre network, towers and radio equipment as well as RFID tags are installed along the railway tracks whereas data centres are set up at the railway stations and integrated with the signalling system.

Besides, another subsystem of Kavach is installed on every train and locomotive.

The officials said that after the development of Kavach version 4.0 and its certification, railways will scale up its installation in mission mode.

"More manufacturers are developing the system who are in various stages of development. Being a safety system, Kavach approvals require meticulous testing at international standards before getting certified," a senior railway official said.

"The Indian Railways operates a diverse network. Various scenarios need to be studied and included in safety systems because a train can travel anywhere on the railway network," he added.

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