In the wake of Monday's train collision at Sainthia station in West Bengal, questions on whether technological interventions could have prevented the accident have been raised. But it will be quite some time before the indigenously developed anti-collision device (ACD) will be installed in trains.

The onboard protection system is being developed by the Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd. The project to provide ACDs over a 1,736-km stretch under the North East Frontier Railway was initiated in 2007.

“We have installed the anti-collision device on all the trains and the tracks of the North East Frontier Railway and have now received the sanction to extend the implementation to three other zones – Southern Railway, South Central Railway and South Western Railway,” Siddheshwar Telegu, Chief Public Relations Officer, Konkan Railway, told The Hindu on Tuesday.

The network consists of ACDs mounted on engines and guard vans as well as trackside ACDs that are connected to a GPS monitoring system. Whenever a collision-like situation is detected by the ACD, the train is brought to an automatic halt, Mr. Telegu explained.

Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd. had received the patent from the U.S. for the ACD earlier. On June 1, it received a separate patent for the Track Identification Device, a part of the ACD system.