The tender will be worth around Rs 350 crore and will be floated by the end of August
The Indian Railways and the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL) are set to float tenders to procure the Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) aka the Kavach system to cover around 650 km of the dedicated freight corridor by the end of August, multiple company executives told Moneycontrol.
“The government is looking to fast-track covering the entire existing tracks of the dedicated freight corridors with the TCAS systems and the first tender for the same will be announced by August,” a senior DFCCIL executive said.
He added that the TCAS system is likely to be installed in the Rewari-Madar section of the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor and the Khurja-Bhaupur section of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor.
Dedicated Freight Corridor map
“The Rewari-Madar section on the Western DFC and the Khurja-Bhaupur section of the Eastern DFC are where trains operate at their highest speed, and also garner the most traffic,” another executive from DFCCIL said.
He added that the DFCCIL plans to install the TCAS system on these sections by January 2024.
Also Read: Kavach rollout may take 15 years; not the ‘cure’ for all rail accidents: HBL Power Systems
The 306-km Rewari-Madar section of the Western DFC was inaugurated in January 2021, while the 351-km New Khurja-New Bhaupur section of the Eastern DFC was flagged off in December 2020.
The executives from DFCCIL added that the DFCs currently are covered with safety devices that track the speeds of trains, and devices that measure axle and wheel temperature of the wagons.
According to experts, installing the Kavach system costs Rs 50 lakh per kilometre, which would make the tender for around 650 km worth around Rs 350 crore.
Earlier this month, DFCCIL chief RK Jain had said that the entire length of the DFC tracks would be made Kavach-compliant to ensure safety on the tracks that are meant to be used only by goods trains.
He added that around 77 percent of the work or around 2,200 km on both the DFCs had been completed till May 31.
Also Read: KEC International bags two orders for Train Collision Avoidance System worth Rs 600 crore
Currently, not a single route kilometre of the DFCs has the Kavach network installed because the Centre is focused on doing so on passenger tracks.
Kavach has been indigenously developed by the Research Design and Standard Organisation and other associated research firms with a capacity of ensuring the highest degree of accuracy in preventing collisions between two trains. The system is capable of speed control by automatic application of brakes in case a loco pilot fails to do so. Signal aspects in the cab are useful for higher speeds even in low visibility conditions. This will not only aid loco pilots to avoid signal passing at danger (SPAD) and overspeeding but also help in train running during dense fog.
The Kavach system brings the train to a halt automatically if it detects that the train has jumped of a red signal or spots another train on the same railway track from the opposite side.
Kavach can also be interfaced with existing interlocking systems including relay-based interlocking.
Also Read: Explained | How does railways’ collision prevention system Kavach work?
So far, Kavach is operating on 1,455 route km on South Central Railway and tenders have been awarded on 2,951 route km on the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah sections. This is targeted for commissioning in 2024.
Kavach is currently installed on a limited percentage of trains, estimated to be around 5-7 percent of the entire fleet. With approximately 20,000 trains in operation, the potential market size for TCAS in India is substantial.