Kavach is an indigenously developed Automatic Train Protection (ATP) system that aids the loco pilot in trains running within specified speed limits. It automatically applies brakes in case the Loco Pilot fails to do so and helps the train safely operate during inclement weather. The system is highly technology intensive and requires the highest order of safety certification.
The first field trials on passenger trains began in February 2016. Based on the experience gained from these trials and an Independent Safety Assessment by a 3rd party, three firms were approved in 2018-19 to supply Kavach.
Kavach was adopted as the National ATP system in July 2020.
Current Status & Spending
Kavach has been deployed on 1465 Route km (Rkm) and 121 locomotives (including Electric Multiple Unit rakes) on South Central Railway in Telangana (684 Rkm), Andhra Pradesh (66 Rkm), Karnataka (117 Rkm), and Maharashtra (598 Rkm) states.
KAVACH was initially implemented for 264 Kms and 25 stations in the Wadi – Vikarabad – Sanatnagar and Vikarabad – Bidar sections of South Central Railway. In 2020-21, an additional 322 Kms and 32 stations were covered. In 2021-22, the system was deployed in an extra 859 Kms, 77 stations, 29 LC Gates, and 74 Locomotives. In total, KAVACH now safeguards 1,445 Kms (including 68 RKms of Automatic signaling) and 133 stations, covering sections like Manmad – Mudkhed – Nizamabad – Sitafalmandi – Kurnool – Guntakal, Parbhani – Bidar – Vikarabad – Wadi, and Wadi – Sanatnagar.
Kavach tenders have been awarded for the Delhi – Mumbai and Delhi – Howrah corridors, approximately covering 3000 Route km. Work is in progress on these routes in various states, including West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Maharashtra.
The cost for the provision of Trackside equipment, including Station equipment of Kavach, is approximately ₹ 50 Lakhs per Kilometer. The cost for providing Kavach equipment on loco is approximately ₹ 70 Lakhs per loco.
The total amount spent so far on Kavach implementation is ₹ 351.91 Crores. The budgetary allocation for Kavach during the year 2023-24 is ₹ 710.12 Crores.
Indian Railways is preparing Detailed Project Reports (DPR) and detailed estimates for an additional 6000 RKm.
Presently, there are three Indian Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) who are approved for Kavach. Efforts are being made to develop more vendors to enhance capacity and scale up the implementation of Kavach.
Main Features of Kavach:
● Prevention of Trains / Locomotives Passing Signal at Danger (SPAD)
● Continuous update of Movement Authority with display of signal aspects in Driver Machine Interface (DMI) / Loco Pilot operation cum Indication Panel (LPOCIP)
● Automatic Braking for Prevention of Over Speeding
● Auto-Whistling while approaching Level Crossing Gates
● Prevention of collision between two Locomotives equipped with functional KAVACH
● SoS Messages during emergency situations
● Centralized live monitoring of Train movements through Network Monitor System