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There's a train that's gonna make an unscheduled stop down the way. It's got a, how do you say, little somethin' somethin' onboard for you boys.
Frank Tenpenny

Catalyst is a mission in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, given to protagonist Carl Johnson by fellow Grove Street Families member Ryder from his home in the Grove Street cul-de-sac in Ganton.


Carl pays another visit to Ryder, who is making his own "water" (marijuana dipped in embalming fluid and then laced with PCP) after he couldn't find the stash he buried in his back yard. While Carl and Ryder are talking, Tenpenny and his accomplices walk into the kitchen to inform the pair that there will be an army munitions train passing through East Los Santos shortly, and that enemy gangs such as the Ballas and Vagos will attempt to rob the cargo on board the freight train as well.

The two immediately depart, arriving at the train only to find the Vagos have ambushed the train first and are attempting to offload munitions, while fighting the Grove Street Families. Once the Vagos are eliminated, the Ballas turn up and attempt to take the train. Not wanting to lose the munitions, Carl jumps onto the train. Ryder promptly jumps into the back of his Picador, who waits with a GSF member driving behind the train, with Carl throwing some Crates to him. After acquiring a sufficient amount of munitions crates, a three-star wanted level is attained. They go to the nearby Pay 'n' Spray in Idlewood to evade the police, and drive back to Ryder's home.

Mission Objectives

In order to complete the mission the player must:

  • Drive Ryder's truck to the ammo train.
  • Shoot the Vagos robbing the train.
  • Protect the train from the Ballas.
  • Climb onto the back of the train.
  • Toss the munitions boxes to Ryder.
  • Use the nearby pay 'n' spray to lose the cops.
  • Take the crates back to Grove street.


The reward for this mission is an increase in respect. The mission Robbing Uncle Sam is unlocked.


Carl Johnson comes to Ryder's place.
CJ: Hey, Ryder? What the hell you doing?
Ryder: Ni**a, I couldn't find that wet I buried, so I'm making my own. It's easy, fool.
CJ: Oooh! That's strong. Man, don't do that! You'll sauté the both of us.
Frank Tenpenny, Eddie Pulaski, and Jimmy Hernandez enter.
Tenpenny: Morning, boys!
Ryder: Man, who you calling a boy, fool?
Tenpenny: What should I call you? Midget?
Pulaski: How about prick?
Tenpenny: Prick...
Pulaski: Yeah, prick works.
Ryder: Man, fuck you.
Tenpenny: Bitch, get outta here. Mmm... Smells good. What's cooking? Where's mine?
Ryder: Man, just chill out, a'ight. Move. Here. Don't be sweating me, motherfucker.
Ryder hands Tenpenny a jar that he hands off to Hernandez to hold.
Tenpenny: Mmm, my wife loves this stuff, man.
Pulaski: *laughs*
Tenpenny: Anyway, there's a train gonna make an unscheduled stop just down the way. Its got a, how you say, "little something something" on board for you boys. Square business, man.
Pulaski: Catch you later, homeboys.
Ryder: Asshole.
Tenpenny: Oh Carl, try not to kill any more respected police officers. Please?
Pulaski: Crime has certainly gone up since you got back, kid.
CJ: Just doing my part for the community.
Tenpenny: Your train's gonna be there in five.
CJ and Ryder get into his Picador.
Ryder: You drive, CJ, seeing as you "Mr.Driver" and all.
CJ: Ugh, not your shit again. Don't give me a hard time about my driving, I ain't got the energy for it, man.
Ryder: Well, don't go roll the damn car over and blow us all up in flames, then!
CJ: Ah, I ain't rising to your shit now.
Ryder: Good! Means you concentrate on the road then.
CJ: (chuckles) You love to give your homie a hard time.
Ryder: Just tryin' to keep my soldiers alive, ni**a.
CJ: By nagging them to death?
Ryder: Watch the road, motherfucker! THE ROAD!
CJ and Ryder arrive near the train in Las Colinas, finding some GSF homies fighting Vagos for the train's cargo.
Ryder: Yeah, here we go.
CJ: That's our train, alright. Shit, looks like some Northside Vagos got it first!
CJ and Ryder kill all the Vagos, only to have the Ballas arrive at the scene.
Ryder: Oh, what's this? We've got Ballas tryin' to crash the party?!
CJ: Looks like Tenpenny told every gang in South Central!
Ryder: Man, we gotta smoke those Balla assholes!
CJ and Ryder kill all the Ballas. Any GSF homies still alive will secure the area.
Ryder: Go check out the train, CJ!
CJ gets on the train, when it suddenly starts moving.
CJ: Damn, what is that?
Ryder: Chill out, fool, we gonna be right behind you! Throw me some boxes, CJ!
CJ throws some boxes to Ryder as he stands in the back of his truck while a GSF homie drives it.
Ryder: I got it!
Ryder: Damn, not so hard!
Ryder: Keep 'em comin'!
CJ starts throwing explosive boxes to Ryder
Ryder: Shit, I nearly dropped that one!
Ryder: Oh yeah!
Ryder: And another one!
Ryder: Can't stop me!
CJ throws the last box into Ryder's Picador and comes back to it, only to have the LSPD come after it.
Ryder: OK, CJ, that's all I can carry! Hop in the car and stamp out, fool! Man, we got the one-time on our tail!
CJ and Ryder lose the cops, then go back to Ryder's home.
Ryder: Damn, homie, that shit was tight!
CJ: You too, homie!
Ryder: LB's coming over to stash this shit.
CJ: OK, later then.
Ryder: For life, CJ, for life - you heard?


Video Walkthroughs


  • During the cutscene, Carl briefly disappears for a few seconds and reappears again when Tenpenny informs him and Ryder about the weapons train.
  • Several players experience a glitch when throwing the boxes for Ryder to catch. Instead of throwing the boxes, the boxes are instead dropped most of the time, even if the player used max power for the throw. This usually happens if the frame limiter on the player's computer is disabled.


  • The song heard in the pre-mission cutscene is "Fantastic Voyage" by Lakeside, which can also be heard on Bounce FM.
  • The mission features similar objectives to the GTA Chinatown Wars mission Stealing the Show, as:
    • Both missions require the protagonist to throw crates onto a moving pickup truck from another moving vehicle. The vehicles used to catch the cargo will be always filling up, but the vehicles originally carrying the cargo never seemes to run out of crates.
      • However, Carl automatically dismounts from the vehicle while Huang must manually dismount. And in this mission Carl attains an inevitable wanted level while Huang only needs to simply deliver the vehicle. In this mission the target is 10 and the CW counterpart is 15. Also, explosive crates are only seen in this mission.
  • The explosive crates do not damage Ryder's vehicle.
  • If the player stops the car and gets out far enough away from the train, the player can use a Camera or a Sniper Rifle to see the GSF and Vagos standing still near the train, not doing anything. However, if the player comes close, they will open fire.
  • Carl can throw the boxes unrealistic distances. This is best seen when aiming towards the sky with max power.
  • If the player looks closely to the crates lying around the ambushed train scene, a picture of MP5K can be seen drawn on top of the crates' lids, indicating that the crates contain MP5Ks. Oddly, only the standard variant of MP5 actually exists in the game.
  • If the player jumps out of the car when reaching the train and the car stops far away from the train, Ryder will leave the car, re-enter and drive the car next to the train.
  • The Ballas used a car that they do not use normally: A Greenwood.
  • This is the only time that a GSF member is seen using Dual Pistols.
  • The train is locked and cannot be taken.
  • If Carl fails to throw enough boxes, there will be no wanted level and he will still be in Ryder's truck after failing the mission, with Ryder telling him that "he is as bad at tossing as he is at driving". The truck will always stop at Unity Station.
  • According to the documentary "Burn Motherfucker", about the 1992 LA Riots, the CIA in the 1980s used to have trainloads of guns derailed in urban Los Angeles ghettos and it theorized that LA gang wars in the 1980s helped the CIA fund the Contras in Central America. This is referenced in the game by Mike Toreno, and this mission could possibly be a reference to these derailed trains containing guns that gang members in South Central often stole crate loads of guns from and used them in street warfare.