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  • Balasore train accident: What is anti-collision system which Odisha train route lacks?

Balasore train accident: What is anti-collision system which Odisha train route lacks?

Balasore train accident highlights the absence of an anti-collision system on Odisha train routes, raising concerns about safety and the need for its implementation.

Soumya Prakash Pradhan
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Balasore train accident: What is anti-collision system which Odisha train route lacks?PhotoPhoto: Twitter

Balasore train accident: What is anti-collision system which Odisha train route lacks?

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The Indian Railway System, renowned for its extensive network and large passenger volumes, prioritises safety as a paramount concern.

In order to mitigate collision risks and bolster passenger security, the Indian Railways has implemented an advanced Anti-Collision System (ACS).

This system aims to detect potential collisions, alert train operators, and automatically apply brakes when necessary, ensuring the safety of both passengers and railway personnel.

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee arrived in Balasore, Odisha on Saturday to assess the aftermath of a tragic incident.

At least 261 passengers lost their lives, and around 900 individuals suffered injuries in a collision between two passenger trains and a goods train on Friday.

Mamata Banerjee, during her visit, labeled this unfortunate event as the most significant railway accident of the 21st century.

She also expressed her concern over the absence of an anti-collision system on the Odisha route.

Here are the features, benefits, and impact of the Anti-Collision System in the Indian Railway System.

How the Anti-Collision System Works

The Anti-Collision System incorporates advanced technologies such as GPS (Global Positioning System) and GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) to monitor train movements and exchange real-time data.

Operating on the principle of "Train to Train" and "Train to Control Center" communication, this system adopts a proactive approach to collision prevention.

Key Features of the Anti-Collision System

Collision Detection

The system utilises sensors, GPS, and GPRS to identify the presence and movement of trains in close proximity.

It continuously assesses the relative positions and velocities of trains to identify potential collision scenarios.

Audio-Visual Warning System

When an impending collision is detected, the Anti-Collision System activates audio and visual warnings on board the trains involved.

These warnings alert train operators about the critical situation, enabling them to take immediate action.

Automatic Brake Application

If the train operator fails to respond or take appropriate action within the allotted time frame, the Anti-Collision System autonomously applies brakes to prevent the collision.

This automated response acts as a fail-safe mechanism, minimising the risk of human error.

Communication with Control Center

The Anti-Collision System maintains constant communication with the centralised control center, allowing it to monitor train movements and intervene if necessary.

This additional layer of safety provides an enhanced level of protection.

Benefits of the Anti-Collision System

Enhanced Safety

The primary objective of the Anti-Collision System is to enhance safety by minimising the risk of train collisions.

By integrating advanced technologies and automated braking, the system reduces reliance on human response time, thereby preventing potential accidents.

Reduction in Human Error

The Anti-Collision System significantly reduces the likelihood of accidents caused by human error.

Even in situations where train operators fail to respond, the system takes immediate action to prevent collisions, serving as a crucial safety net.

Improved Efficiency and Reliability

By streamlining train movements and preventing collisions, the Anti-Collision System enhances the overall efficiency and reliability of the Indian Railway System.

It minimises delays caused by accidents or near misses, resulting in smoother operations and an improved passenger experience.

Impact and Future Developments

The implementation of the Anti-Collision System in the Indian Railway System has already demonstrated promising results in terms of safety enhancement.

As technology continues to advance, there is a constant focus on further improving the system.

Future developments may involve integrating artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to enhance collision detection accuracy and optimise response mechanisms.

One notable example of such a system is the Kavach Safety System, an automatic train protection (ATP) system developed collaboratively by the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) and three Indian firms.

The Kavach system offers multiple safety features that not only assist locomotive drivers in avoiding missing danger signals but also enable them to effectively control train speeds, particularly in challenging conditions of low visibility.

The Kavach Safety System has undergone rigorous testing and has demonstrated its efficacy in preventing accidents.

Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw himself personally tested the system and expressed satisfaction with its performance.

In a tweet last year, Mr. Vaishnaw stated, " Rear-end collision testing is successful. Kavach automatically stopped the Loco before 380m of other Loco at the front." This successful trial validated the system's capability to automatically apply brakes and halt the train when the driver fails to do so in time, effectively reducing the risk of rear-end collisions.

In essence, the anti-collision system, represented by the Kavach Safety System, acts as a reliable guardian on railway tracks.

By proactively identifying potential dangers, alerting train operators, and intervening when necessary, this advanced technology serves as a crucial safeguard, minimising the likelihood of accidents and ensuring the smooth and safe operation of trains even in adverse circumstances.

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