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Activator Rail

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Activator Rail
Activator Rail

Non-Solid Block







Blast resistance





This block can be broken with any tool, but a pickaxe is the quickest




Yes (64)



First appearances

See History



Data value

dec: 157 hex: 9D bin: 10011101



An activator rail is a type of rail that can "activate" certain minecarts.


Activator rails can be crafted and previously-placed activator rails can be broken with bare hands or any tool, dropping themselves as items.


An activator rail can be broken with any tool, dropping itself as an item, but a pickaxe is fastest. To break an activator rail, mine it:

Hardness 0.7
Breaking time[note 1]
Hand 1.05
Wooden 0.525
Stone 0.2625
Iron 0.175
Diamond 0.1312
Golden 0.0875
  1. Times are for unenchanted tools in seconds.

An activator rail will also be removed and drop itself as an item:

  • if the block beneath it is moved, removed, or destroyed
  • if water flows into the activator rail's space
  • if a piston tries to move it vertically, or if there is no block beneath it at the new position after a horizontal move

If lava flows into an activator rail's space, the activator rail will be destroyed without dropping itself as an item.


Ingredients Crafting recipe

Iron Ingot +
Stick +
Redstone Torch

Iron Ingot Stick Iron Ingot Grid layout Arrow (small).png Activator Rail6
Iron Ingot Redstone Torch Iron Ingot
Iron Ingot Stick Iron Ingot


An activator rail can be used as a rail and as a redstone component.

To place an activator rail, use an activator rail item while pointing at a surface facing the space the activator rail should occupy. An activator rail can be placed on:

An activator rail cannot be attached to the side or bottom of any block, but attempting to make such an attachment may cause the activator rail to attach to the top of a block under the destination space. For example, if a fence is on the ground, attempting to attach an activator rail to the side of the fence will cause the activator rail to be attached to the top of the ground next to the fence instead.

When placed, an activator rail will configure itself to line up with any adjacent rails (including detector rails, powered rails, and other activator rails), as well as adjacent rails one block up. If there are two adjacent rails on non-opposite sides, or three or more adjacent rails, an activator rail will line up in the east-west direction. If there are no adjacent rails, an activator rail will line up in the north-south direction (but if a rail is later placed to the east or west, the activator rail will re-orient itself in the east-west direction even if it is already connected to another rail to the north or south). If a rail it would line up with is one block up, an activator rail will slant upwards towards it (with multiple options to slant upwards to, an activator rail "prefers", in order: west, east, south, and north). Other configurations can be created by placing and removing various rails.


Activator rails (and other rails) can be used as "roads" for minecarts. A minecart that enters an activator rail's space from either end of the activator rail will continue to move, losing only a little velocity (which can then be increased again with powered rails). A minecart that enters an activator rail's space from the side will turn east or south (depending on the activator rail's orientation), or in the downward direction for a slanted activator rail.

Redstone component[edit]

See also: Redstone circuit

Activator rails can be used to affect minecarts that travel over them.

An activator rail is a redstone mechanism and can be activated by:
An activated activator rail will also activate any adjacent activator rail it is connected to, up to eight activator rails away from the original activation source. Thus a single activation source can activate up to 17 activator rails (one original in the middle and eight on either side). An activated activator rail will not activate adjacent activator rails which it is not connected to.
An activator rail will affect minecarts above it with varying effects. The effects occur as soon as any part of the minecart is on the activator rail.
An active activator rail will:
  • eject mobs (including players) from minecarts as if a player had used the sneak control to exit the minecart
  • repeatedly activate command block minecarts — a command block minecart will execute its command every game tick until the command block minecart is no longer on the activator rail
  • disable hopper minecarts — a disabled hopper minecart will not pick up items it travels through until it is enabled by an inactive activator rail (or until it is broken and re-placed)
  • prime TNT minecarts — primed TNT minecarts will explode after one second with an explosive power proportional to their speed over the activator rail.
An inactive activator rail will:
  • enable hopper minecarts — an enabled hopper minecart will pick up items it travels through until it is disabled by an active activator rail.

Data values[edit]

An activator rail has the ID name minecraft:activator_rail and is further defined by its block data. An activator rail also has a block state which is expected to replace the functionality of block data in a future version.

Block data[edit]

An activator rail's block data stores its orientation and activation status:

Bits Values

A three-bit field storing a value from 0 to 5:

  • 0: flat track going north-south
  • 1: flat track going west-east
  • 2: sloped track ascending to the east
  • 3: sloped track ascending to the west
  • 4: sloped track ascending to the north
  • 5: sloped track ascending to the south
0x8 Set if rail is active.

Block state[edit]

See also: Block states
Name Value Description

True if rail is active.

Specifies the rail's orientation.



Official release
1.5 13w02a Added activator rail.
13w02b Changed crafting recipe to include sticks and redstone torch.
13w03a Activated activator rails disable minecarts with hoppers.
1.7.2 13w39a Activated activator rails activate minecarts with command blocks.
1.8 14w05a Activated activator rails eject players and mobs from minecarts.
Console Edition
TU19 Added activator rails.


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