This video has circulated online since 2009 -- more than one decade before the COVID-19 pandemic

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A video has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times in posts on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube that claim it shows a freight train carrying essential commodities for those in COVID-19 lockdown in India. This claim is false; the video has circulated online since at least November 2009 and actually shows a regular goods train service in India. 

The video was published here on Facebook on April 2, 2020. It has been viewed more than 295,000 times.

The one-minute one-second video shows a train carrying multiple vehicles. 

Below is a screenshot of the misleading post:

The post’s Hindi-language caption translates to English as: “PM’s idea to fight Corona. Blessed is the head of my country, look at his willpower in these difficult circumstances making sure that there is no dearth of essential goods, keeping this in mind, he devised this new idea of transporting essential goods.”

On March 24, 2020, India announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown in a bid to curb the growing COVID-19 pandemic. Borders were closed and travel was restricted to only essential services, as stated in this tweet by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It reads: “Essential commodities, medicines etc. would be available. Centre and various state governments will work in close coordination to ensure this.”

The lockdown was extended for another 19 days on April 14, 2020. Here is an AFP report on the government announcement. 

The video was also shared here and here on Facebook; here and here on Twitter and here on YouTube, alongside a similar claim.

The claim is false; the video has circulated online for at least one decade.

A reverse Google image search using video keyframes extracted with InVID-WeVerify, a video verification tool, found the same video published here on YouTube on November 14, 2009.

 The video, which has been viewed almost four million times, is titled: “alco on train freight train,carrying lorries, at a level crossing near betalbatim, goa, india.”

Betalbatim is a locality in Goa in western India.

Below is a screenshot comparison of keyframes extracted from the video in the misleading post (L) and the 2009 YouTube video (R):

The transportation of trucks on trains as seen in the videos above is a service unique to the “roll-on, roll off”, or RORO, a project run by Konkan Railways in Konkan, a mountainous region in western India. Information on the project is available here on the railway’s website. 

Konkan Railways has announced it will help to deliver essential commodities to those in lockdown across Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka states during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Here is a Konkan Railways press release about the effort published on March 24, 2020. 

A screenshot of the Konkan Railways press release