The Freight Train Challenge is a side mission in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas that involves the player transporting freight around the state in a Brown Streak or a Freight under a time limit. The challenge is available after all three islands have been unlocked, since it needs delivery to all five stations scattered around the state, namely Unity Station, Market Station, Cranberry Station, Yellow Bell Station and Linden Station. Like most side missions, it is activated by pressing the submission button. The challenge is completed when both levels have been completed; it is failed when either the train is derailed, the time limit expires, a station is missed, if the vehicle is abandoned or if the submission button is pressed.
Even though the Brown Streak is a passenger train, the missions can be completed using it; Carl only needs to use one train for the two missions.
- Level One: Stop at five stations.
- Level Two: Stop at five stations.
- $150 for arriving at a single station during Level One.
- $300 for arriving at a single station during Level Two.
- $50,000 for the completion of both levels and free train rides. (To be precise, Carl has the option of riding in a passenger car of a Brown Streak rather than jacking the engine, which is the option prior to completing the mission.)
While travelling to each station, the maximum speed you should be going at is around 45. It is safe to go up to 47, but if you don't control the amount of momentum your train is holding when you are at that speed, you could very easily derail yourself. This usually occurs at the speed of 47.5, which is why it's suggested to go around 45. Now to get on with the strategy, once you have gotten ahold of a Brown Streak or a Freight, start moving at a fast speed and then press the submission button. You should be tasked to reach the next station. Start gaining speed until you get around to 45 and then start periodically tapping the accelerate button so you don't go above 45.
Pay attention to the distance, as soon as the distance reaches 10x your speed, you will want to start braking. Mathematically, if your speed was 45 and the distance left was 450, it would take 10 seconds to reach your target. That means you need to start braking, otherwise you will run over your target. After that, you should have reached your target smoothly. As soon as it says you have delivered the cargo, immediately start accelerating. This should maximize the amount of time you have and help you reach your target in a more comfortable time.
Repeat this with the strategy and tips that you now know, and completing this challenge should be a very long and boring; but rewarding cakewalk.
- The speed displayed is actually in kilometres per hour (km/h) divided by 4, and not in miles per hour as commonly thought. Therefore, a displayed speed of, say 20, is actually 80 km/h.
- It should be noted that when going between Market and Unity station, a consistent max speed of 30 (120 km/h) or thereabouts should be kept. Otherwise, it is safe to accelerate up to 46-47 (184-188 km/h) before the train is at risk of derailing, which occurs at a speed of exactly 47.5 (190 km/h).
- Starting the side mission will clear the player's wanted level.
- You do not need to be in a station to start the sub-mission. It can be started anytime after the player has entered the train, including halfway between stations. This also applies to the second of the two missions, if played concurrently.
- Hitting vehicles with the train does not generally hinder the mission.
- The player loses control of the camera during the time the train is in operation, though different cinematic views can be chose with one of the analog sticks on the PS2. This can make judging where to stop difficult if using the view from the train; it's best to use the distance meter to gauge when to stop.
- Some walkthroughs imply Carl needs to leave the train and board another one to start Level 2; in fact, he can stay in his current train and continue on, and in fact to make things easier it's possible to hold off on activating the second mission until the train is well out of the station.
- Due to the dangerous gang activity, it's inadvisable to start this mission at Unity Station as it usually requires Carl to wait on the train platform for a train to arrive, making him vulnerable.