Detector Rail

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Detector Rail
Detector Rail

Non-Solid Block







Blast resistance



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




Yes (64)





First appearance

Beta 1.5



Data value

dec: 28 hex: 1C bin: 11100



Detector Rails are a type of rail that act like a pressure plate, and the first rail switch.

When any kind of Minecart is on top of the Detector Rail, it will generate a redstone signal. The signal will be transmitted to blocks that are adjacent to the detector (including Powered Rail) and redstone placed under the rail, similarly to pressure plates.


[edit] Crafting

Detector rails are crafted like normal rails, but with a stone pressure plate instead of a stick, and the addition of redstone.

Ingredients Crafting recipe

Iron Ingot +
Stone Pressure Plate +

Iron Ingot
Iron Ingot Grid layout Arrow (small).png Detector Rail6
Iron Ingot Stone Pressure Plate Iron Ingot
Iron Ingot Redstone Iron Ingot

[edit] Uses

Detector rails can be used for many things. One train station-like feature could be activating a Note Block to indicate that a minecart is approaching, or a note block in conjunction with a redstone torch to have a grade crossing signal. It is easiest to simply wire a series of 4-6 detector rails, one around every 20 blocks, to a note block and an inverter that powers a Redstone Torch. As the cart passes each detector rail, it will trigger the circuit for one flash of the torch and a chime, thus giving you 4-6 chimes before the cart reaches the crossing.

Detector rails can be used with a memory cell to power powered rails for long tracks.

Additionally, they can be used to create a one-way gate to a Powered Rail, with any carts coming the other way slowing down or stopping completely.

They also can be used to activate dispensers filled with arrows to create a minecart-friendly mob trap.

As a defense mechanism in multi-player or for your own challenge, you can make a rectangle using powered rails, regular rails, and detector rails. Then, make a box around it with glass (except the floor). At every detector rail have a redstone wire leading to a dispenser filled with arrows. When you begin the movement of the mine carts they'll pass over the detector, firing the arrows in a constant pattern until you run out of ammo. It is also good for speed killing by filling a hole with mobs and slaughtering the mobs inside; you can get a lot of resources this way.

Example for signal strength of a full minecart (27 stacks) and a half-full one (14 stacks)

They can be used for multi-layered piston doors with repeaters and redstone.

Redstone Comparators can detect how full a cart is. Simply place a redstone comparator with input A facing the detector and the output will change its signal strength.

[edit] Video

[edit] History

1.5 Added detector rails.
1.5_01 Fixed a bug where detector rails couldn't be placed next to any rail or the game would crash.
1.6 Fixed a bug with sloped detector rails leading to opposite-sloped rails would only generate a signal for occupied carts (like a stone pressure plate).
Official release
1.5 13w10a Added a texture for detector rails when active.
Console Edition
TU1 Added detector rails.

[edit] See Also

[edit] Issues

Issues relating to "Detector Rail" are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.