The Indian Railways’ anti-collision system, Kavach, holds great promise for reducing train accidents. But its slow rollout remains an issue
A view of the Kavach interface inside a train engine; (Photo: Krishnendu Halder)
It was sometime in March last year, when two trains, travelling at 100 kilometres per hour, were racing towards each other from opposite sides, somewhere between Hyderabad and Lingampalli in Telangana. Just when you thought a head-on collision was inevitable, the two locomotives screeched to a halt, barely a hundred metres away from each other, as if guided by an invisible force. “Kavach,” the Union railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, who was travelling in one of the trains, had declared, “is successful.” He was referring to India’s very own automatic train protection (ATP) system.