Vande Bharat train, running at 160 kmph, stops automatically before red signal in first ‘Kavach’ trial

Source : PTI | The Agra railway division on Friday successfully tested an automatic braking system installed in eight-car Vande Bharat trains as part of the indigenously developed anti-collision device ‘Kavach’, an official said. “In the first-ever trial, the loco pilot did not apply the brakes and still the train, running at a speed of 160 kmph, automatically stopped 10 metres before the red signal. This parameter will now be freezed for all eight-car Vande Bharat trains across the country,” Agra Railway Division PRO Prashasti Srivastava told PTI.

All Vande Bharat trains are fitted with a ‘Kavach’ system which can apply brakes on its own in case the loco pilot fails to do it due to any reason.

Since this system needs several other components such as station Kavach, RFID tags throughout the track length and Kavach towers along the tracks to work simultaneously, the Indian Railways is in the process of implementing these components across its network to enhance operational safety.

Under the supervision of Kush Gupta, Deputy Chief Signal and Telecommunication Engineer, North Central Railway zone, the trial started at 9:30 in the morning between Mathura and Palwal and the whole exercise was repeated in both up and down directions till 2 in the afternoon.

Srivastava said that the exercise will now be done for 16-car Vande Bharat trains.

Before this trial, the Agra division, under the supervision of Gupta, successfully conducted two more Kavach trials at 140 kmph and 160 kmph for other mail and express trains.

The Agra division has developed a complete Kavach network on the 80-km stretch between Mathura (excluding the station) and Palwal.

This involves the placement of RFID tags on railway tracks in station areas and other places, installation of stationary Kavach units at several places such as stations, and installation of towers and antennas along the tracks.

The Kavach system, developed by the Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO), can apply brakes automatically in case of an emergency when a train driver fails to act in time.

According to RDSO officials, a 125-km stretch in three parts between Delhi and Agra is the only stretch across the entire rail network where trains can run at a maximum speed of 160 kmph.

Trains run at a maximum speed of 130 kmph on all other sections in India.

The special track was laid here for India’s first semi-high speed train Gatimaan Express, which was launched in April 2016.