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Railway Minister Pushes for Rapid Implementation of Kavach System

New Delhi: In response to the recent tragic rail accident in West Bengal, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has called for an accelerated rollout of the Kavach system in a mission-mode approach. During a review meeting on Friday focused on Kavach 4.0, the latest version of the automatic train protection system, Vaishnaw directed officials to expedite the installation of the technology on all locomotives as soon as it becomes available.

According to sources, the railway ministry has informed the Cabinet Secretary of plans to extend Kavach coverage to 44,000 km of track over the next five years. Kavach, designed to prevent train collisions on the same track, is currently produced by three manufacturers, with additional manufacturers in various stages of development.

The railways have set ambitious targets, aiming to implement Kavach on the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah routes by March 2024. Furthermore, tenders for an additional 6,000 km of track are scheduled to be released by the end of this year.

Most major railway systems worldwide adopted similar automatic train protection systems in the 1980s. India’s journey began with the approval of the first version of the Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) in 2016. After rigorous trials, the system achieved SIL-4 certification in 2019 – the highest level of safety certification – and was subsequently approved as the national ATP system in 2020.

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