Minecraft comes with a completely functional railway system, but it might be a bit complicated for players who have no redstone knowledge. In this article, Gurugamer is going to showcase the basics of building a railway and how to use rails with minecarts.

Rails in Minecraft and how to use them

Plain rail

This is the type of rail that you will be using the most. An iron farm is recommended, as you will be crafting a lot of them. Plain rail can be placed on flat ground or slopes.

H3bckug8rmjqy5st6ytuor 970 80
6 iron ingots and 1 stick produce 16 rails.

Powered rail

The powered rail, when attached to a redstone switch, speeds up your minecart along the rail. If the rail is not connected to a switch or is deactivated, it would stop your cart instead.

Vcutkvaazuxnqavjfjo68z 970 80
6 gold ingots, 1 stick, and 1 redstone dust produces 6 powered rails.

Detector rail

The Detector rail will either activate or deactivate any attached redstone whenever a minecart passes. Detector rails are used to momentarily power redstone as the minecart passes over — place them like any other rail. They can be used to open doors, power pistons, or with any other complex redstone contraptions you create.

Jzjlrsnb8wazwejw8x3hst 970 80
6 iron ingots, 1 stone pressure plate, and 1 redstone dust produces six detector rails.

Activator rail

Activator rails trigger an action on a cart passing above them when powered: TNT minecarts are set off, a hopper cart gets deactivated, and players/mobs riding in one are pushed out of it.

N34vcajp84vnnn89lkt9sl 970 80
6 iron ingots, 2 sticks, and 1 redstone torch produce six Activator rails.

How to use minecarts

A minecart is a train-like vehicle entity that runs on rails. They can be ridden in by you, animals, and enemy mobs. Players can control the Minecart with the forward and backward keys. It is possible to go up sloped rails, but progress will be slow.

Cymsjgbgalgbcjn94ytkbj 970 80

Players can load chests, hoppers and TNT into Minecarts using the crafting grid. Minecart with a chest allows you to store items. Minecart with a hopper pick up any blocks or items lying on the track, and will also pick up any items on a block directly above the track (they can be turned on and off with an activator rail).

Lastly, Minecart with TNT is used for fast mining. Players can light the fuse of the cart with an activator rail and it will explode 4 seconds later. The faster the cart's speed, the bigger the explosion.

How to create railways in Minecraft

Placing tracks

Just right click while holding the rail to place it. Use a pickaxe to pick them up if needed. Rails will automatically turn corners if you place another rail adjacent to it (does not work on slopes).

Hjyws3mghy4wwkvwzwglza 970 80
Block the end with a block will stop your cart from going off the rails.

How to create intersections

You can place rails in a diagonal pattern to create a diagonal track. Creating intersections is tricky, but necessary if you want to build a big railway system.

Egt92dyyaa9ugvnqylwffw 970 80
Rails can bend automatically as you place them.

For a simple T-intersection that goes two ways, just place a lever next to the connection part. Any time you flip the lever with a right click,  the direction of the bend in the track will change.

Eczzp6fdgvusru6a7ccjad 970 80
An intersection

How to ride a minecart and use rails

Right-click a rail with minecart in hand to place your minecart. Right click the Minecart to ride it. When you're finished riding, hit spacebar or the corresponding jump key to exit the minecart.

How to use powered rails

Powered rails are essential for a rail system. They need to be powered, preferably with a lever or redstone torch. A tip for powering sloped rails is to place a redstone torch beneath the block supporting the rail, as is shown in the picture below:

3eggrycp4adefapxtzpr2h 970 80
Redstone torches beneath the block

If you want a minecart to stop when it reaches the end of a powered track, just place a dip at each end, as shown below:

Sgpzuiypcsx5pjqsc2o74h 970 80
Stop the cart with a dip at the end of the rail.

How to maximize rail speed

A minecart with the player inside can get to max speed after passing 3 powered rails. It will travel at that speed for 38 blocks. Therefore, place one powered rail every 38 blocks to maintain speed.

K84qqlvksuerxytycksmr9 970 80

An empty minecart, weirdly enough, will only travel 8 blocks at top speed after passing the same number of powered rails. This means players will need to place more to keep their speed.

Additionally, a minecart with a chest or hopper in it requires three powered rails in a row to reach top speed, and a powered rail every eight blocks to maintain maximum speed. Any minecart climbing a slope requires three powered rails in a row to reach top speed, and a powered rail every two blocks to maintain maximum speed.

>>> Read more: Top 6 Best Minecraft 1.19 Tools And Gadgets Mods