Not to be confused with Wong Side of the Tracks, a similarly named side mission in GTA Liberty City Stories.
Tenpenny: "That's right Carl. I got my eye on you."
CJ: "And? Like I give a fuck."
Carl Johnson meeting Frank Tenpenny and Eddie Pulaski in the opening cutscene
"All we had to do, was follow the damn train, CJ!"
Big Smoke to Carl Johnson if player fails in this mission, perhaps one of the most memorable lines throughout the entire GTA series.

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 by the garage. Carl arrives and Smoke tells him that they have to go to the train at Unity Station.

When the pair 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 by train. Carl and Smoke use a Sanchez parked nearby, to chase down the train to kill all four Vagos thugs, whilst avoiding obstacles such as; oncoming car blocks and incoming trains going the opposite direction. If successful, Carl 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.
    • You left You left Big Smoke behind go get him! (if Big Smoke falls off the Sanchez.)
  • Take Big Smoke back to his house.


Carl Johnson approaches Big Smoke's Home and sees Tenpenny and Pulaski leaving the garage near the house.
Tenpenny: Hey, Carl, keeping busy, I hope.
CJ: You know me, Officer Tenpenny.
Tenpenny: Yeah, I know you, Carl. I know everything about you. *Passing by, puts his hand on CJ's shoulder*
CJ: Don't touch me. Get your pig hands off me...
Tenpenny: That's right, Carl, I got my eye on you.
CJ: And? Like I give a fuck.
Pulaski: We're watching you, Carl! *throws his cigar in CJ's direction*
CJ: Motherfucker!
Big Smoke: *approaches CJ from the back* What was that all about, baby?
CJ: You tell me.
Big Smoke: Aw hell, man, they got their nose in everything. Can't shit without Tenpenny taking an interest. The hell with him.
CJ: Yeah, I guess. What's really up?
Big Smoke: Hey, thinking of taking a little ride. Three deep mentioned a little something that might put us deeper in game.
CJ: A'ight, I'm down.
CJ and Big Smoke are sitting in Big Smoke's Glendale.
CJ: Where to, Smoke?
Big Smoke: Unity Station.
CJ drives Big Smoke to parking lot near Unity Station.
CJ: What we looking for, Smoke?
Big Smoke: Some Vagos cats meeting some San Fierro Rifa, cutting some kind of deal.
CJ: San Fierro? I thought Northern Mexicans don't mix with Los Santos esses.
Big Smoke: Shit, you got me.
CJ: *They notice some Vagos members above the tunnel* That look like them!
Big Smoke: *Vagos jump on the roof of the train* Motherfuckers clocked us! We got to get those fools!
CJ and Big Smoke jump on nearby Sanchez and chase the train.
Big Smoke: Follow that train! Get me close, CJ. I'm about to pop these fools. Roll up on them CJ, so I can get a shot! Oh fuck! An on-coming train! Take the high road on the right, CJ! Look the fuck out, CJ! The train! Move this shit, man I'm gonna ice these fools, man.
Big Smoke kills all Vagos members on the top of the train.
Big Smoke: Hey, let's get outta here before cops show, man.
CJ: Was it always like this?
Big Smoke: Was what always like this?
CJ: Always fucked up around here. Or is it because of the drugs?
Big Smoke: What you think, man?
CJ: I don't know. That's why I'm asking you.
Big Smoke: Yo, eh eh, don't ask a wise man, friend. Ask a fool.
CJ: That's what I was doing.
Big Smoke: Well, if you're going to make this thing personal, I ain't speaking on it no more.
CJ drives Big Smoke back to his house.
Big Smoke: Hey, you better clear out, CJ. I don't want those C.R.A.S.H. fools trying to pull you into some shit!
CJ: Alright, homie. You be careful with those cats. I'm gonna see you later.


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 for the player to inflict any damage against them.
  • 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 such as a TEC-9.
  • Do not attempt to dismount the motorbike and shoot at the Vagos on foot, as the train is travelling 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 far enough ahead 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 train driver, 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 the Well Stacked Pizza Co, 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


  • If the player fails the mission by losing the train, Big Smoke will shout "All we had to do, was follow the damn train, CJ!". Due to the high difficulty of the mission, leading to many players failing it multiple times, this line became very famous among fans of the Grand Theft Auto series, to the point of becoming an internet meme.
    • In the open-world sandbox game Minecraft, there is a splash which reads "Follow the train, CJ!".
  • Even if the player kills the train driver before entering the red marker on Unity Station, the train will still depart from the station during the cutscene.
  • It is possible to use Big Smoke’s Glendale to chase the Vagos, however this is not recommended as the Glendale can barely handle off/road well as the Sanchez and it is too big and it could be prone to being hit by a train if in a wrong area.
  • In the beta version, when chasing the train, CJ would complain that the bike wasn't built to take so much weight, and claimed that people don't call Big Smoke BIG Smoke for nothing, to which he angrily replies that he was born big, as seen in this video.
    • Also in the beta version, another objective would have been to retrieve a package from the dead Vagos, as seen in this video.
  • 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 as if it weren't there.
  • 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 dirt bike. If they manage to land on top of the train on their first attempt, they will achieve 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.
  • If the player fails the mission within close proximity of the moving train, all of the Vagos on top of it will become invisible. Their weapons will remain visible. The first three Vagos will be explosion-proof. The fourth Vago is fully-immune, and can't be killed.
  • If the player manages to kill all the Vagos before the train hits the broken down Glendale, the car will not explode when the train hits it as scripted and will simply be pushed away by the train.
  • It is possible for the second and fourth Vagos from the front of the train to mysteriously die, leaving only the first and third to kill. If driving correctly, they can be killed before meeting the oncoming train in the tunnel. The player can see their guns land on the tracks if looking back quick enough (tested in PS4 version).


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