Within the intricate network of railway systems, one system stands out as a game-changer. It changes the path of history with each whistle that sounds, announcing new developments and safety measures, and is known as the Automatic Train Protection (ATP) system, or Kavach. Its journey across the railways paints a picture of perseverance and progress as it threads through countless miles of tracks—1465 to be exact—and snugly fits inside 139 locomotives like a guardian angel. After overcoming many difficulties to reshape the future of train travel in India, this native marvel has emerged as a ray of hope for safer railway operations.
Kavach Redefined Railway Safety Across 1465km Of Tracks
The wildly ambitious Automatic Train Protection (ATP) system, dubbed Kavach, has made significant progress towards being implemented throughout the South Central Railway sections. According to the official announcement from the government, it has been installed on 1465 route kilometres. It has been fitted into 139 locomotives, which include electric multiple-unit rakes as well.
These sections span several distances, including Manmad-Mudkhed-Dhone-Guntkal (959 km), Bidar-Parbhani (241 km), and Lingamapalli-Vikarabad-Wadi and Vikarabad-Bidar (265 km). Moreover, around 3000 route kilometres are covered by the ongoing work, which includes corridors like Delhi-Howrah and Delhi-Mumbai.
According to the First Post, preparatory works, such as surveys, detailed project reports (DPR), and detailed estimates, are in progress for an additional 6,000 route kilometres. It certainly demonstrates the Indian Railways’ commitment to improving safety protocols. As of right now, Kavach has been approved for use by three Indian Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). Also, efforts are being made to involve additional OEMs to expedite the implementation of this technology.
The Cutting-Edge Protector Of Railway Travel Installed
Being an indigenous ATP system, Kavach is unique in that it was created with the highest level of technological sophistication and requires the highest safety certifications. Its main job is to assist the locopilot when the train is operating within designated speed limits. The system automatically applies the brakes to ensure safety if the pilot does not act. Additionally, it facilitates trains’ safe passage through hazardous weather conditions.
As per the reports from First Post, beginning in February 2016, the Kavach journey was conducted as field tests on passenger trains. Later, three businesses were given the go-ahead to supply Kavach in 2018–19. It was done after taking into account this experience as well as the results of an independent safety assessment.
The system was acknowledged as the official ATP system on a national level in July 2020. However, there was some controversy surrounding the talks surrounding this historic occasion, particularly in light of the triple-train accident that occurred in Balasore, Odisha, on June 2. The accident claimed the lives of about 300 people and injured 1,000 more. It certainly spurred conversations about the vital need for an anti-collision system like Kavach.
The progression of Kavach from trials to becoming the national standard is indicative of the dedication to technological innovation. It also represents the need to improve railway safety following catastrophic events.
Cover Image Courtesy: Canva
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