Footage of Chinese Backed Railway Track Construction In Malaysia, Falsely Linked to SL!

False Social

A short video is being widely shared among Sri Lankans claiming to be an instance of the using of advanced technologies in the rapid construction of railway lines in Thalaimannar. Let’s look at the video in detail.

Social Media Claims:

This viral video shows the construction of a railway track with the help of a track-laying machine. Facebook users shared the video with the caption, “Thalaimanar new railway track being constructed in collaboration with Government of China assistance. Amazing to watch the inputs of latest technology.”


The two-minute clip generated interest among English as well as Sinhala users.

Fact Check

Upon close examination of the videos, one can observe the phrase ‘China Communications Construction.’ written below Chinese text. Here is the same video share several days ago explaining the scenes to be Chinese manufactured rail laying system.

To find the origins of the video and to get more context we performed a reverse image search on Google. Results led us to a short clip containing the same footage posted on X (Twitter) a few weeks ago. The post caption states “Malaysia’s East Coast Railway began laying tracks”.

Archive link

Chinese video-sharing platform ‘ixigua’ also shared part of the viral clip stating the occasion to be laying of railway tracks of the East-Malaysian Railway, as translated from Chinese.

In further search, we found related news published on 12 December 2023 in Global Times, the Chinese state media. The caption states, “Malaysia’s East Coast Rail Link, under BRI, starts track laying Monday”. The articles goes on to state that the, “China’s China Communications Construction Company has started construction of the 665 km Malaysian East Coast Railway in Malaysia.” The report clearly showed the front side of the derailment train. It also had Chinese characters written on one side and MRL in English on the other side. With this, it is clear that the construction of this railway line is going on in Malaysia and it has nothing to do with a project in Talaimannar, Sri Lanka.

Global Times

We also came across a related post dated 12th December 2023 on Twitter regarding this project. It also confirms that the viral video is from Malaysia and it has no link to Sri Lanka.

Therefore, its clear that the video depicts scenes of China Communications Construciton Company(CCCC) laying rail tracks in Malaysia as part of the mega project of ECRL (East Coast Rail Link). The ECRL is a joint Malaysia-China rail project that links the east coast of Malaysia to its more developed west coast. The project spans 665 kilometers (413 miles) and crosses four states. Construction began in August 2017 and is due for completion in 2025. Here is a video from December 2023 with Malaysian King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and officials at launching ceremony for track laying machine for the China backed project.

China Communications Construciton Company(CCCC) has its presence in Sri Lanka in a massive project. The Port City Colombo is a comprehensive super-large investment construction project built by CCCC and its subsidiaries and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.

Mannar Railway Line

The Mannar line was proposed over a century ago was later constructed as part of a plan to create a rail link between Sri Lanka and India. After the war period ended in Sri Lanka, the revival of the line commenced. The Indian Railway Construction (IRCON) International Ltd, an infrastructure construction company owned by the Ministry of Railways in India, began work on the Madhu-Talaimannar line on March, 2011. The project, carried out with financial assistance from India, was launched by Indian PM Narendra Modi in 2015 as seen here.

A new train service linking Colombo and Talaimannar Pier was launched in September 2023. The Talaimannar Pier Express departs from Talaimannarama Pier station at 4.15 am and reach Fort station at 10.34 am while the 6 hour Talaimannar bound journey starts in from Colombo Fort around 3.35 pm, says the Railway Deaprtment. More on this here & here.


Fact Crescendo found the claim made along with the viral video to be False. The viral video of rapid railway track construction is not from Talaimannar, Sri Lanka but from Malaysia’s East Coast Link project, carried out by China Communications Construciton Company(CCCC).