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Rail corner.png


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: 66 hex: 42 bin: 1000010



Rails (also known as minecart tracks) are non-solid blocks that provide a path along which minecarts can travel.

Obtaining[edit | edit source]

Rails can be mined with anything, but pickaxes are the quickest.

Block Hardness Tool Breaking time[note 1]
Hand Wooden Stone Iron Diamond Golden Shears Sword

1.05 0.55 0.3 0.2 0.15 0.1
  1. Times are for unenchanted tools in seconds.

They also drop as items when:

  • the block beneath them falls, is moved, or removed
  • a liquid flows over them
  • a piston moves them into a space with no floor below them

Natural generation[edit | edit source]

Rails can be found naturally in abandoned mine shafts.

Rails can be found in 5.5% of chest minecarts in abandoned mine shafts, in stacks of 4–8.

Crafting[edit | edit source]

Ingredients Crafting recipe

Iron Ingot +


Usage[edit | edit source]

See also: Tutorials/Minecarts

A rail can be used as a minecart track and as a redstone component. A sequence of rails (including regular rails, activator rails, detector rails, and powered rails) is called a track.

Placement[edit | edit source]

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

A rail cannot be attached to the side or bottom of any block, but attempting to make such an attachment may cause the 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 a rail to the side of the fence will cause the rail to be attached to the top of the ground next to the fence instead.

When placed a rail will configure itself to be straight or curved according to rail blocks around it.

  • If there are no other rails adjacent it will be placed as a straight track oriented north-south.
  • If placed at the end of an existing stretch of track, the new rail will be a straight track section oriented to continue the existing track, either east-west or north-south.
  • If placed beside an existing stretch of track (of any type) the newly placed rail will be straight and oriented north-south.
  • If there are two adjacent rails on its level, or one level up or down, the newly placed rail will configure itself to connect the other two. This means that it will be placed as a straight or curved track as needed.
  • If placed between three adjacent rails (thus always forming a T-junction) the newly placed rail will be placed as a curved track south-to-east, north-to-east, or south-to-west to join those sides.
Existing tracks one block up and down are considered for adjacency in the same manner, and the new piece of track will be laid as a curve, but unless space is left for sloping track sections mine carts will only be able to continue past the curve on level or one-block-down corners. In one block up corners the cart will be left buried in the ground.
Some placement of rails will produce track layouts that will cause minecarts to collide and enter blocks.
  • If placed to form a 4-way intersection with no curved section it will not form a cross-roads connection.
  • If placed between four adjacent rails to form a curved intersection it will always curve south-to-east.

Existing sections of track may be re-oriented, become sloping, or even change into curved sections when new rail is placed adjacent to:

  • An existing straight, north-south rail will re-orient to east-west when a new block is placed to its east or west sides.
  • If placed next to an existing rail that is one block up or down the rail will slant up or down to join it. Rail "prefers", in order: west, east, south, and north. Other configurations can be created by placing and removing rails.
  • If a track is placed perpendicular to an existing length of track it will show as a straight rail, but in fact will be curved according to the patterns for tee junctions as seen above and mine carts going through the intersection will turn the corner. Breaking and re-laying track so that the intersection block is laid last will update the intersection block as a curved section.

Redstone component[edit | edit source]

The intersection rail at a T-intersection may be made to change its direction of curvature by applying redstone power using a redstone torch or lever.

Separate tracks laid adjacent but at the next level lower or higher can sometimes cause issues but normally will not interact with the switched rail.

Minecart behavior[edit | edit source]

South-east rule[edit | edit source]

Track intersections.png

When entering a T-shaped intersection from the "back of" the curved rail a mine cart will travel straight through the intersection. Entering from either of the other two legs it will follow the curve.

In a 4-way intersection constructed to have no curved rail a cart will pass straight through in the direction of the continuous line. When entering the 4-way from east or west a cart will turn according to the south-east rule.

Downhill rule[edit | edit source]

Downhill rule.png

At non-curve track intersections minecarts will always travel downhill if they can. This is known as the downhill rule and overrides the south-east rule.

Minecart movement[edit | edit source]

A cart moving with enough speed is able to jump single block gaps in a rail line and continue on travelling.

Ramp clearance/one-way effect[edit | edit source]

2011-10-10 21.54.31.png

A block placed above the track at the downhill end of a ramp will prevent minecarts from traveling down the slope, but not up. In order for a minecart to move down a diagonal tunnel, there must be just as much clearance as a player needs to walk it.

Curve intersections[edit | edit source]

A diagram on how minecarts travel according to track curves.

If a straight track piece leads to a curve block and isn't attached to the curve, a minecart will run over the gap and continue to go straight over the curve. This is not applicable with other types of rails.

Notably, the minecart can exceed the normal 8 m/s speed limit while it jumps over the gap. For example, by placing intersections on every other block of a straight track, it is possible to travel at 10 m/s in a straight direction (but it will be a very uncomfortable ride).

Rail performance[edit | edit source]

The performance of minecarts on a track is affected by the way the track is placed. Running track next to a wall (especially diagonal tracks), placing lampposts next to it, or having hills to climb will adversely affect the speed of a minecart, and consequently its distance travelled.

A minecart with no rider at full speed can climb 10 blocks on unpowered track. This suggests that a powered track is only needed at a height of 10 blocks to keep a cart climbing. However, the cart slows so much that it can only reach another 5 blocks high with 2 lengths of powered track starting at 9 blocks high. The minimum number of powered rails to keep the cart climbing is 3 every 6 blocks.

Carts with a rider, or minecarts with chest, have more momentum and so climb higher than one that is unloaded. With a rider a minecart can climb at least 24 blocks before needed powered rails to go higher.

Data values[edit | edit source]

Every rail has an ID name of minecraft:rail and stores its orientation in its block data. A rail also has a block state which is expected to replace the functionality of block data in a future version.

Block data[edit | edit source]

See also: Data values

A rail's block data specifies the directions to which it connects.

Value Description
0 Straight rail connecting to the north and south.
1 Straight rail connecting to the east and west.
2 Sloped rail ascending to the east.
3 Sloped rail ascending to the west.
4 Sloped rail ascending to the north.
5 Sloped rail ascending to the south.
6 Curved rail connecting to the south and east.
7 Curved rail connecting to the south and west.
8 Curved rail connecting to the north and west.
9 Curved rail connecting to the north and east.

Block state[edit | edit source]

See also: Block states
Name Value Description

The two directions a rail connects to.
For example, a south_east rail is a curved rail which connects to the south and to the east.
A rail that ascends towards the direction noted.
For example, an ascending_west rail is a straight rail which goes upwards from the east towards the west.

Video[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Seecret Friday 1
Rails were introduced in the first "Seecret Friday Update" to Infdev.
Texture changed slightly.
1.6 Before this update, parallel tracks could be used to create minecart boosters.
Official release
1.0.0 Beta 1.9-pre1 Rails are destroyed by snowfall (bug).
Beta 1.9-pre4 Some rail behavior was affected following changing the south-west rule to south-east rule.
1.3.1 12w25a Rails can now be placed on upside-down slabs and stairs.
1.5 13w04a Mobs no longer walk over rails unless they are pursuing the player.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.8.0 build 2 Added rails.
0.9.0 build 1 Rails now naturally spawn in abandoned mine shafts.
Console Edition
TU1 Added rails.

Issues[edit | edit source]

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

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • When walking on a block that has a rail on top, you will hear the sound of the block you're walking on, but if you jump (while still walking), you will hear the sound of iron.
  • Rails are approximately 2-foot gauge (the gauge is the distance between the rails).

Gallery[edit | edit source]