Rails and Track System in Minecraft: 13 Things You Need to Know

Rails and Track System in Minecraft: 13 Things You Need to Know

Minecraft is a vast world filled with a large variety of landscapes, biomes, and underground channels to explore. At times exploring these long-distance locations without a suitable means of transportation can be overwhelming for players, and it is. But it doesn’t have to be, because you can dedicate some time and create probably the fastest means of travel with the help of Rails and Tracks.

By making use of a Track system, players are exposed to many possibilities in their Minecraft world. These track systems can be built in any dimension, and with some smart engineering, some of them can be used as Cargo transportation, speed trains, automatic collectors, and more. There are a large variety of Rails in Minecraft, each with their different uses, and I will be telling you everything I know about these rails and their uses, as well as providing you with 12 useful tips at the end of this article, so relax and keep reading.

Materials Required to Make Rails

Plain Rails

You are going to need the following materials, 6 Iron Ingots and 1 Stick.

Powered Rails

You’ll need the following materials, 6 Gold Ingots, 1 Stick, 1 Redstone.

Activator Rails

You’ll need the following materials, 6 Iron Ingots, 2 Sticks, 1 Redstone Torch.

Detector Rails

You’ll need the following materials, 6 Iron Ingots, 1 Stone Pressure Plate, 1 Redstone.

What Do the Different Rails in Minecraft Do?

Activator rails

An Activator rail is a special rail that is powered by Redstone, it can drop you off if your Minecart passes over it, it can be used to ignite a TNT Minecart, and it can disable hopper Minecarts preventing them from picking items when they pass through it.

Detector rails

Detector rails act as pressure plates for Minecarts, they can be used to power up redstones for a while if a Minecart passes over them. You can use these rails to automatically open doors, power pistons, and more.

Powered Rails

Power rails can either speed up or decrease the speed of a moving Minecart.

How to Make Rails in Minecraft?

How to Make Plain Rails in Minecraft?

Making rails is easy, and once you have the required materials, just follow these easy steps.

First, open your crafting table and go to the 3×3 crafting area.

Rails and Track System in Minecraft: 13 Things You Need to Know

Next, fill up the first Column with 3 iron ingots, then place a wooden stick in the center of the 3×3 crafting area(That is the second cell of the second Column or Row), and finally put the last 3 iron ingots in the last Column.

Rails and Track System in Minecraft: 13 Things You Need to Know

Now simply click and drag the 16 crafted rails to your inventory.

How to Make Powered Rails in Minecraft?

If you want to add or reduce the velocity of your Minecart, then you need a Powered rail. The process of making Powered rails is very similar to that of regular rails, but this time, the iron ingots are replaced with gold ingots. To make Powered rails, simply gather all the needed materials and follow these easy steps.

First, open your crafting table and go to the 3×3 crafting area.

Rails and Track System in Minecraft: 13 Things You Need to Know

Next place 3 gold ingots on the entire first Column, then place a wooden stick in the middle of the 3×3 crafting area(That is the second cell of the second row or column). Once that is done, place a Redstone in the middle of the last row(The second cell of the last row or the third cell of the second column). Finally, put 3 gold ingots in the entire third Column of your 3×3 crafting area.

Rails and Track System in Minecraft: 13 Things You Need to Know

Now click and drag out the crafted Powered Rails to your inventory, easy peasy.

How Do You Make Activator Rails in Minecraft?

These rails add a special kind of dynamic to a Minecraft track because of their functionality. To create these rails, simply have all the required materials ready, and follow these easy steps.

 6 activator rails at a time.

First, open your crafting table and go to the 3×3 crafting grid.

Rails and Track System in Minecraft: 13 Things You Need to Know

Next place 3 Iron ingots in the entire first Column, then a stick in the middle cell of the first row, a Redstone torch in the middle cell of the second row, another stick in the middle cell of the third row, and finally 3 Iron ingots in the entire third column.

Rails and Track System in Minecraft: 13 Things You Need to Know

Now simply click and drag out the 6 crafted activator rails and put them in your inventory. So congratulations on making your first activator rails in Minecraft. Bear in mind, the placement of these materials matters a lot if you want to successfully Craft an item.

How to Make Detector Rails in Minecraft?

If you want to make an automatic track for your Minecarts which comes complete with automatic doors, shafts, and more, then you’ll need a Detector rail. It is just like making a powered rail, just replace the stick with a stone pressure plate. To make a Detector rail, simply gather the required items, and follow these easy steps.

First, open your crafting table and go to the 3×3 crafting grid.

Rails and Track System in Minecraft: 13 Things You Need to Know

Next, place 3 Iron ingots in the entire first column of the grid, then place a stone pressure plate in the middle of the 3×3 crafting grid(The second cell of the second row or column), followed by a piece of Redstone at the middle of the 3 rows (Or the third cell of the second column), and finally fill up the entire third column with Iron ingots.

Rails and Track System in Minecraft: 13 Things You Need to Know

Now you can click and drag the crafted Detector rails and place them in your inventory. 

How Do Detector Rails Work? 

Detector Rails act as pressure plates. They are activated whenever a Minecart is on it and deactivated when no Minecart is on it. While a Detector rail is active, it can power up adjacent Redstone dust and repeaters, it can activate adjacent mechanisms like pistons, powered rails, hoppers, etc, it can power any solid opaque block underneath the Detector rail.

What Are Activator Rails?

An activator rail is a type of rail that can “Activate” certain minecarts whenever the cart makes contact with it.

How Far Apart Should Powered Rails Be?

The Optimal Spacing for individual powered rails on a level Track system is 1 powered rail per 27 regular rails(Blocks( for an empty utility cart. However, a full utility Minecart would require 1 powered rail per 6 regular rails (Blocks).

How Often Do You Need Powered Rails?

1 rail every 38 blocks let you travel just under max speed the entire way. (It’ll take 1 second longer than having rails spaced closer to travel 2k blocks). A powered rail that isn’t receiving power can stop a cart.

How to Create a Minecraft Track System

Track systems make navigating a Minecraft world very easy if you can dedicate the time to create them. They also make transporting Goods and Cargos easy, it is faster than most means of travel, their required materials for crafting are cheap. Rails are really easy to use because they automatically join together when they are close, and they also automatically curve when placed perpendicular to one another.

To create a track system, simply hold a rail in your hand and right-click it on the ground to place it. You can also remove a rail with your pickaxe if you made a mistake. Rails automatically turn corners if placed adjacent to each other, although it doesn’t work if the track is on a slope.

If you want to prevent your Minecarts from going off the track, simply put a cobblestone or a solid block at the end of the track. If it does go off the track, simply hit it with a pickaxe and pick it up.

You can also place rails in a diagonal pattern, and despite how it looks, the Minecart will still move as if on a straight track. Creating a Track system is dependent on how creative the player is and the scale of the railway. For a small-scale railway, I’d recommend you stick with the basics rails and powered rails, but for a large-scale mega project, you are going to make use of all the rails available depending on your plan for the project.

Rails and Track System in Minecraft: 13 Things You Need to Know

Materials Needed to Make Minecraft Track System

You first need to decide or sketch out a plan for your intended Minecraft Track System. The Materials needed will be dependent on how your track system looks and the location that it will go through. However, to create a standard Track system of any kind, you’ll need the following materials: Every type of rails(Powered, Activator, Detector, and Regular Rails), Red stones, Levers, Building blocks.

How Do You Activate a Track in Minecraft?

A Powered Rail track can be activated by placing a Redstone of any kind in the block adjacent to it.

An Activator Rail is activated if a Minecart passes over it.

A Detector Rail is activated if a Minecart makes contact with it.

How Do Minecraft Tracks Work?

A Minecraft track system works similarly to a real-life track system. But unlike trains, a single empty Minecart doesn’t have the energy to move or continue moving on its own, so a powered rail is introduced to the track, this gives some boost to the Minecart to continue its journey. Sometimes, the placement of rails can affect how a Minecart moves on it, in some cases the Minecart can go off the track if it is moving at high speed.

Gravity also matters in a track system. If a track is built uphill, it will require a lot of powered rails to keep a Minecart moving in that direction. But if it is built downhill, you may not need any powered rail because gravity pushes the Minecart downwards.

If you want to add some fancy features, like an automatic explosive Minecart, make use of an activator rail at the location of the explosion. For an automatic open and closed-door in your track, you’ll need to use a Detector Rail.

Can You Switch Tracks in Minecraft?

To switch between a simple two ways T-intersection, just place a lever at the intersection close to the T. If you want to switch between tracks, pull the lever, and the track changes.

How Do You Make a Minecraft Train?

Minecart trains are a creative means to transport goods from a mine to the surface, or from one location to another. To create a Minecart train, you’ll need the following materials, a Furnace Cart, a Cargo or Chest Cart, and or an Empty Cart. Once you have the required items, follow these easy steps.

First, lay down some tracks using plain rails with one end open.

Next, place a Furnace cart on the open end of the rail and then put a passenger/chest cart on the other end.

Finally, to activate the train, you will have to right-click the furnace with coal or charcoal in your hand, and the carts will start to move in that direction. Make sure you stand behind the train before activating it so that it travels in the right direction. Bear in mind that Minecart trains only work on rails that move in a Northerly or Southerly direction.

Rails and Track System in Minecraft: 13 Things You Need to Know

What Other Features Can I Add to My Train Station?

For starters, you can add a regular train station for picking up passengers, and connect that to a tripwire to create an Automated Single Cart two way small station. This station helps detect when a passenger is on a Minecart and changes direction to the station if there is no passenger or the Minecart changes direction away from the station if there is a passenger.

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If you are feeling inspired enough, you can also add a ticket machine or booth to your train station. Depending on whichever fee you are charging (Gold, Diamond etc) you can create a Hopper and connect it to a chest for customers to pay their fees into. For the ticket booth, you can link a pressure plate to the entrance of your train station and have another player stand on it, the customer will only be allowed through the entrance once they paid the fees.

These are of course just fancy additions to spice up your train station in your Minecraft world. So don’t feel pressured to make them if you don’t really need them.