The Freight Train Challenge is a side mission in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
The mission involves the player transporting freight around the state in a Brown Streak or a Freight under a time limit. The challenge is available after completing Yay Ka-Boom-Boom. Like most side missions, it is activated by pressing the sub-mission 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 sub-mission button is pressed. Completing the mission is required to achieve 100% completion.
Despite the mission's name, it is possible to use a Brown Streak to complete the challenge.
- 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 traveling to each station, the maximum speed the player should be going at is around 45. It is safe to go up to 47, but if one doesn't control the amount of momentum the train is holding when the player is at that speed, one could very easily derail. 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 the player has gotten a hold of a Brown Streak or a Freight, start moving at speed and then press the submission button. The player should be tasked to reach the next station. Start gaining speed until the player gets around to 45 and then start periodically tapping the accelerate button to avoid going above 45.
Pay attention to the distance, as soon as the distance reaches 10x the train's speed, the player will want to start braking. Mathematically, if the train's speed was 45 and the distance left was 450, it would take 10 seconds to reach the target. If the player does not start braking, they will run over the target. After that, the player should have reached the target smoothly. As soon as the cargo is delivered, immediately start accelerating. This should maximize the amount of time the player has to reach the target on time.
- One does 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. Generally, starting the mission halfway is a better idea, although one should not start the mission too close to a station otherwise they'll have to go to the next station.
- 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).
- 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 is 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, unless the local vicinity has been taken by CJ during a gang war.
- It is highly recommended to use the single Brown Streak railway engine obtainable in End of the Line to complete this side mission, due to the fact that this single engine has far better acceleration and slows down far quicker than any other train in the game.
- 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. This simply means, at speed "1", it represents 4km/h.
- Starting the side mission will clear the player's wanted level.
- There is a glitch when the player abandons the mission by clicking the sub-mission button, the player will briefly have a third-person view of the train, unlike the default cinematic view.
- This also happens when a level is complete. It will stay in third person forever, until you move the train or exit.