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.

This mission is notorious for its extreme difficulty (especially for first-timers) and later spawned memes and YouTube Poop videos after it.

Why it Sucks

  1. You can't shoot the Vagos who are on top of the damn train, instead having to rely on Big Smoke to shoot them, unless if you managed to drive on the bridge and jump on top of the damn train.
  2. Big Smoke's AI is about as accurate as an Imperial Stormtrooper trying to shoot Luke Skywalker, especially when you get close to the damn train.
  3. Cars and roadblocks spawn in the middle of the track.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. The Vagos have ridiculously high health. This, combined with the fact that Big Smoke is apparently unable to hit the broad side of a barn, makes this mission much more difficult than intended.
    • They also take much more shots from the Sawed-Off Shotgun, which is one of the strongest weapons in the game.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. The reward for completing the mission is just an increase in respect, which hardly makes up for how utterly difficult this mission is.
  10. 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.
  11. Cheats do nothing to ease this mission in the slightest.

The Only Redeeming Quality

  1. Big Smoke's quote "All we had to do, was follow the damn train, CJ!", while annoying, became an internet meme and later repopularized GTA San Andreas.

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). 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.
  • The player must position to the far right of the tracks to give Big Smoke a better aim at the Vagos. If the player gets close to the damn train, Big Smoke will just outright shoot the damn train due to his poor aim.
  • 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 shoot the Vagos with the Uzi while riding the bike along with Big Smoke to easily complete the mission.
  • An alternative to complete the mission is to get the Sawed-off Shotgun at Ocean Docks, go up the damn train and shoot the Vagos with it until they're killed. Be sure to have enough ammo, however.


  • 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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