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It was a near miss for the Railway Minister and the Chairman of the Railway Board as their locomotives missed colliding on the same track.

Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Chairman and CEO of Railway Board VK Tripathi barely escaped a collision on Friday when the locomotive carrying Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and another locomotive carrying Railway Board Chairman approached on the same track and came to a halt only 380 metres apart.

Yes, you read that correctly: their locomotives avoided colliding due to the “Kavach,” a train collision prevention system developed indigenously. The new technology was demonstrated on Friday, and the Railway Minister was present in one of the locomotives.

As part of National Safety Day, the South Central Railway Secunderabad Division conducted a Kavach demonstration.

The minister was present in the rear locomotive, and they attempted to approach another locomotive on the same track in front and attempt a “rear-end” collision with the locomotive in front. VK Tripathi, Chairman and CEO of the Railway Board, and senior officers were present in the front locomotive. However, as seen in the video, the rear locomotive is brought to a halt by the automatic application of brakes 380m behind the lead locomotive.

This device, which has been tested at speeds of up to 160 kmph, is a game-changer in railway safety, said Railway.

For the first time, this technology is being used by the Indian Railways. It will automatically apply the brakes to avoid rear-end crashes, front/head-on collisions, and the crossing of a red signal (known as “Signal Passing at Danger/SPAD”). This implies that even if the driver makes a mistake and the train is travelling at full speed, the train will automatically stop when it comes to a red or stop signal, with the brakes applied automatically.

The demonstration was held between Secunderabad’s Gollaguda-Chitgidda stations and the South Central Railway’s Vikarabad Section.

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