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Wrong Side of the Tracks

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Not to be confused with Wong Side of the Tracks, a similar side mission in GTA Liberty City Stories.
Tenpenny: "I got my eye on you, Carl."
CJ: "And? Like I give a fuck."
Carl Johnson meeting Frank Tenpenny and Eddie Pulaski in the opening cutscene

Wrong Side of the Tracks is a mission in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, given to Carl Johnson by Big Smoke from his house in Idlewood.


Tenpenny and Pulaski are seen leaving Big Smoke's house from the garage. Carl arrives and Smoke tells him that they have to go to the train at Unity Station.

When the two arrive, Smoke explains that the Vagos and San Fierro Rifa are "cutting some kind of deal," and intends to crash the meeting. However, it is actually an ambush and the Vagos attempt to escape via train. CJ and Smoke use a Sanchez to chase down the head of the train to kill all four Vagos, all the while avoiding obstacles such as oncoming car blocks and incoming trains. If successful, CJ and Smoke will have eliminated all Vagos before the train reaches the Frederick Bridge, connecting Los Santos and Las Venturas. The two then clear the scene and CJ takes Big Smoke back to his house.

Mission objectives

In order to complete the mission the player must:

  • Drive to Unity Station.
  • Get on the motorbike with Big Smoke, chase down the Vagos gang members and take them out.
  • Keep up with the front carriage of the train so Big Smoke can shoot the Vagos gang members.
  • Take Big Smoke back to his house.


Wrong side of the tracks1

Smoke is aiming at the third gang member from front to back. Keeping that position the player can kill him right after the curve.

  • Do not waste bullets trying to shoot the gang members as the train is too high.
  • The best location to chase the train from is the far right of the adjacent track, because if the bike is too close to the train Smoke will shoot at the train and if it is too far away his aim will be poor.
  • Just above the storm drain that the train passes, there is a ramp that is level with the train, and can be used to drive the bike on top of it. Not only does this give Smoke an easy shot at the Vagos, the player can also shoot at the gang members, assuming that they have a drive-by weapon.
  • Do not attempt to alight from the bike and shoot at the Vagos on foot, as the train is too fast and the mission will fail if the player falls too far away from the train.
  • An easy way to complete this mission is to get a sniper rifle with at least 20 rounds, go ahead enough of the train, get off the bike and kill the engineer so the train will stop and kill the Vagos. Note: Once you kill the engineer, don't get too close to the train or it will start driving by itself.
  • Another way to complete the mission is to follow the road that runs parallel to the railway line. Turn the corner and keep going until you get to Well Stacked Pizza, turn left and head down the road until you see an apartment block on your right. Stop near the wall and get off your bike, then jump up onto the platform next to the railway tracks. Get the fastest weapon you have and shoot the Vagos as the train rounds the curve. This also convenient when the mission ends and you have to take Big Smoke home again.


Video walkthroughs

PC Version
GTA San Andreas - Walkthrough - Mission 15 - Wrong Side of the Tracks (HD)03:29

GTA San Andreas - Walkthrough - Mission 15 - Wrong Side of the Tracks (HD)

IPad Version
GTA San Andreas - iPad Walkthrough - Mission 15 - Wrong Side of the Tracks (HD)05:42

GTA San Andreas - iPad Walkthrough - Mission 15 - Wrong Side of the Tracks (HD)


  • If the player fails the mission, Big Smoke will shout "All we had to do, was follow the damn train, CJ!". This line has become infamous among fans of the Grand Theft Auto series.
    • In the open-world sandbox game Minecraft, there is a splash which reads "Follow the train, CJ!".
  • In the beta version, another objective would have been to retrieve a package from the dead Vagos.
  • This is one of the first missions to take Carl out of Los Santos and into Red County.
  • If the player abandons the Sanchez after killing the Vagos, it will still appear in the mission's final cutscene.
  • Strangely, if the player fails the mission just as the Vagos crosses the bridge and looks closely, the player will see that the train will pass through a barrier.
  • There is a scene in Rockstar's Manhunt with the same title.
  • This mission is referenced in the Gold-medal objectives for the Grand Theft Auto V mission Derailed, where the player has to follow a train on a dirtbike. If they manage to land on the train at the first time of asking, they will receive the "Better Than CJ" objective.
  • The name of the mission may be based on the phrase "the wrong side of the tracks", meaning a poor area of a city.


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