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Rail
Shaftrails

Rails, also called TracksMinecart Tracks or Cart Tracks, are non-solid blocks on which any type of Minecarts can ride on. Mobs cannot walk across rails as of 1.4.6, enabling the player to travel relatively safely. However, parts of a mob may be in the way of The Player, which will either stop or reverse their minecart.

Overview

Rails are non-solid blocks first seen in the first Secret Friday Update to Infdev. The block has several sprites depending on their orientation when laid. They appear as a 2D image of straight track in the player's hand. Tracks do not appear anywhere on a natural map, except for Abandoned Mineshafts found in the Adventure Update. If there is no block below it, it will break.

Using Rails

Two directly adjacent tracks will attach inline to each other automatically. If two perpendicular track pieces meet, the track connecting them will turn into a curve.

If a track leads up to a one-block high ledge, the piece placed up against the ledge will turn into a ramp if another track is placed on top of the ledge.

"T" intersections can be powered by Redstone circuits and their direction can change with Switches provided there is no confusion about the 2 directions to switch to. Separate tracks laid adjacent but at the next level lower or higher can sometimes cause issues. Since there are no formal rail junctions, switched T intersections are the only method by which the player can have a track system that leads in more directions than back and forth.

Different variations of the rail are the detector and powered rails. A powered rail can be powered by redstone torches and move minecarts. Detector rails act like pressure plates and can also power powered rails.

Trivia

  • Players may only place rails on a block. However, it is possible to find floating Rails in an Abandoned Mineshaft.
  • There is a glitch where in a track sloping downwards with a curved intersection, when approached from the side, will teleport the player under the block, trapping him until he destroys the track and block.
  • If traveling a distance of 50 blocks it takes an average of 12 seconds to walk, 9.3 seconds to sprint (as much as possible) and 10.6 seconds by Minecart. But if traveling the route over and over (e.g. mining) it is worth while investing in a railway system for ease of use.
  • There is a glitch that when a rail is placed on a block that an iron bar is connecting to will cause the top texture of the iron bars to disappear.
  • If you need to travel very long distances in the Overworld, it is best to build a railway system in the Nether. Not only will you use many fewer rails, you will travel much faster relatively to the Overworld (up to 64 m/s or 230 km/h in a straight line, or up to 325 km/h diagonally). This will often result in Zombie Pigmen spawning on the tracks and stopping your cart, however.


Transportation
Mobs HorsePig
Minecarts MinecartMinecart with FurnaceMinecart with ChestMinecart with HopperMinecart with TNTMinecart with Command BlockBoat
Rails RailPowered RailDetector RailActivator Rail
Miscellaneous Carrot on a StickSaddle

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