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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 mission in 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 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.


  • Jump on the Sanchez provided for you by pressing the "enter vehicle" button immediately after the cutscene ends.
    • Alternatively, the player can quickly fire off a few rounds from the Sniper Rifle before getting on the bike.
  • Do not waste bullets trying to shoot the gang members as the train is too high.
  • Stay on the far right side, but not too far to the right as you may hit an obstacle (such as the stalled car on the tracks or an oncoming train). In between the opposite tracks is good. Staying too close to the train will give Smoke a bad angle and he will shoot the train instead. Also, stay close to the head of the train, starting at the rear where the fourth Vago is as the Tec that Smoke is using spray wildly if strayed too far from the head of the train.
    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.

  • While still near Unity Station and before the train makes a curved left turn, one Vago (the one who is behind the rest) will be killed when he fails to duck under a metal bar. Big Smoke always aims first at the third from front to back member.
  • 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.
  • The best angle for Big Smoke to aim is when CJ drives on the right diagonal behind the Vagos gang members (as shown in the picture).
  • Do not attempt to get off your Sanchez to shoot the gang members, as the train is too fast it will get away before you have a chance to fire.
  • Before you do this mission, it's recommended to prepare the sniper, AK-47, M4, and sawn-off shotgun. Start the mission and don't follow the train. Quickly you go to the railroad crossing near Ganton Gym. Wait for the train until appear from further distance. Then from far away shoot the machinist with sniper and the train will stop for a moment. Quickly attack them with sawn-off shotgun or rifles but don't use any SMGs. Shoot them with the not too close distance by going up to the wall beside you. Don't shoot them too close before the train will go again although the machinist is killed.


  • If the player fails the mission, Big Smoke will shout "All we had to do, was follow the damn train, CJ!". The line has become quite infamous among fans of the Grand Theft Auto series.
  • In the open-world sandbox game Minecraft, there is a splash says "Follow the train, CJ!" in the game, which is a reference to this mission and the quote from Big Smoke when the mission fails.
  • In the beta version, another objective would have been to retrieve a package from the dead Vagos, making CJ suspect something.
  • This is one of the first missions to take Carl out of Los Santos and into Red County; for players playing strictly storyline missions this will be their first exposure to the rural area, too.
  • Oddly, in the mission, Local Liquor Store, Carl complains about Catalina shooting so close to his ear, but he doesn't do it with Big Smoke, presumably as he is closer to Big Smoke and the fact that Smoke generally aims the gun higher and to the side, limiting the noise, whereas Catalina is shooting directly forward. This is also likely due to the fact that the Micro SMG used by Catalina has a louder firing sound than the TEC-9 used by Big Smoke.
  • If the player takes Big Smoke back to his house in a different vehicle, it will be replaced with the Sanchez in the 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.
  • The Vagos in this mission have higher health points than normal ones. This can be noticed when the player jumps onto the train and shoot the Vagos with drive-by methods.
  • Sometimes when you look away from the train, one of the four Vagos will disappear for some reason.
  • There is a rare glitch where all Vagos hit the metal bar.
  • This mission is referenced in Grand Theft Auto V where Trevor Philips rides a dirtbike and jumps on top of a moving train. There is also a bonus task in that mission called "Better than CJ", where Trevor must land on the train at the first attempt of jumping off the path by the side of the railway.


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)


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