Wrong Side of the Tracks (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas)

From Atrocious Gameplay Wiki

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

This mission is notorious and infamous for its extreme difficulty (especially for those who were playing this mission for the first time) and later spawned memes and YouTube Poop videos after it.

Why You Can't Follow The Damn Train

  1. You can't shoot the Vagos who are on top of the damn train, instead having to rely on Big Smoke's terrible accuracy.
  2. Cars and roadblocks spawn in the middle of the track, though this is usually negligible as you rarely see them or find the ob.
  3. The track's layout is all over the place, making it easy to hit oncoming traffic and walls, lose track and derail your progress altogether (no puns intended).
  4. Once you get hit by an oncoming train, you'll waste time getting back onto your bike. More often than not, you'll miss the damn train anyway since you get launched a fair distance.
  5. The Vagos have ridiculously high health each. This, combined with the fact that Big Smoke is apparently unable to hit the broad side of a barn even with a Tec 9, makes this mission much more difficult than intended.
  6. Although you can get on top of the damn train, there's still very few locations that you can get up, and you also need perfect timing to land your motorcycle on the damn train perfectly, making it a trial-and-error mission.
  7. If you fail the mission, Big Smoke will always berate you with that irritable line "All we had to do, was follow the damn train, CJ!", which gets annoying very quickly.
  8. As with most of Big Smoke's missions, the reward is negligible.
  9. As typical of the franchise, you must drive all the way up to the mission spot if you fail, so prepare for backtracking up the wazoo since it takes you miles and miles away from Smoke's house.
    • This, however, can be eased by loading a save. In the mobile ports it's even possible to restart it on the spot, completely neutralizing the validity of this point.
  10. Cheats do nothing to ease this mission in the slightest.


  • If the player fails the mission by losing the damn train, Big Smoke will shout "All we had to do, was follow the damn train, CJ!". Due to the difficulty of the mission, leading to many players failing it multiple times, this line later became an internet meme.
  • It is not possible to stop the train, even outside of missions, as any vehicle blocking its way will blow up upon making contact with the train.
  • it is possible to use Big Smoke's Glendale to chase the Vagos or practically any vehicle for the matter, but the Sanchez is still superior due to its agility.
  • The Sanchez used during the mission is a uniquely-colored invincible variant. It can be obtained by dumping it in Glen Park, killing Big Smoke then pushing the vehicle out with the Sawed-off Shotgun.
  • Depending on the method used, this is potentially one of the first missions to take Carl out of Los Santos and into Red County.
  • Even if the Sanchez is ditched, it still spawns at the end of the mission and can be used.

Tips & Tricks

  • It's advised to enhance CJ's skill with a long-ranged automatic weapon (the AK-47 is preferred as its weapon skill increases faster than nearly every weapon in the game, but the M4 found at LSIA works as well). When chasing the damn train with the dirt bike, overtake the damn train, then stop and dismount after gaining some distance (not too much distance or it will be an automatic fail). Wait for the damn train to come into range and shoot the Vagos yourself.
  • If one still wishes to rely on Big Smoke, they must position to the far right of the tracks to give him a better aim. It is difficult, but possible.
  • Another simple way to do this mission is; Overtake the damn train, take the ramp that leads to a rooftop, then jump on the damn train and mow down the Vagos yourself. Don't worry about Big Smoke – you have plenty of time to kill them before the train reaches the overpass.



  • Grand Theft Auto V has a Gold Medal objective on the mission "Derailed" called "Better than CJ", in which the player (as Trevor Philips) must follow the train and land on top of it with his Sanchez for the first time to obtain this objective towards the Gold Medal award for this mission.
  • In Minecraft, a splash text on the main menu may read "Follow the train, CJ!".


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