This video actually shows a train operating in the US and Canada

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A video has been viewed tens of thousands of times on Facebook, Weibo and YouTube alongside a claim it shows a freight train operating between China and the UK under China’s economic development plan, the Belt and Road Initiative. However, the video has been shared in a misleading context; it actually shows a freight train that operates in the US and Canada. 

The four-minute and 25-second video was published here on a public Facebook page with more than 16,300 members on August 26, 2020. It has been viewed some 2,200 times.

Screenshot taken on September 7, 2020, of the misleading Facebook post

The video’s traditional Chinese title translates to English as: “Train from Yiwu, Zhejiang to London, Europe”.

The post's caption translates as: “The Belt and Road train from Yiwu, Zhejiang to London, Europe, with a total of 278 carriages and 10 locomotives (five at the front, three in the middle and two on the end). It’s more than spectacular! It is astonishing!”

Yiwu is a city in China’s Zhejiang province.

China's Belt and Road Initiative is a global project that aims to reinvent the ancient Silk Road land routes to connect Asia with Europe and Africa. The initiative includes massive investments in maritime, road and rail projects -- with hundreds of billions of dollars in financing from Chinese banks, as noted in this AFP report.

The video was also shared alongside similar claims on Facebook here, here and here; on Weibo here, here and here; and on YouTube here.

However, the video has been shared in a misleading context.

Closer examination of the video revealed the letters "BNSF" at its 21-second mark. 

Below is a screenshot of the video with the letters circled in red:

Screenshot of the video in the misleading post at its 21-second mark

A further keyword search found that the logo matches that of a major US freight train operator, BNSF Railway.

The train seen the misleading video matches the photos of those seen on the BNSF’s website, as seen below:

Screenshot of the BNSF's website

In an email to AFP on September 8, 2020, a spokesperson for the company said: “BNSF Railway operates in 28 US states and three Canadian provinces. We do not have routes outside of North America nor do we run trains outside of our system.”

A map of BNSF’s train routes, published here on its website in September 2020, also shows it only operates in the US and parts of Canada:

Screenshot of the map of BNSF's train routes on BNSF's website