The Konkan Railway Corporation (KRCL) Ltd will test an updated version of its patented Anti Collision Devices (ACDs) by September this year. The tests and evaluation will be carried out by an independent agency, the Electronics Test and Development Centre, at Chennai. The ACD devices that can be mounted on rail locomotives and can also be deployed along the tracks, use UHF (Ultra High Frequency) radio signals and GPS to automatically activate braking systems on trains that come within 3km of each other on the same track. Codenamed ‘Raksha Kavach’, ACDs are meant to provide an extra level of protection, in addition to the Railways’ existing system of signals and interlocking systems.
An earlier version of the ACD, version 1.0, was tested in September 2010 on the Pattabiram-Aarkkonam stretch in Tamil Nadu. The results of the tests led to significant improvements in the ACD software such as elimination of the often unnecessary braking, generation of many artefacts and other software bugs. The new version of the device includes an algorithm that measures the length of the trains, and eliminates the need to install them in guard cabins of trains and at level crossings. Once the trials are complete, KRCL will pass on the hardware design to Railway Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) which will coordinate the manufacturing of the hardware which can either be done at the designated signalling workshops of the railways, or by interested third parties at their outlets.