Activator Rail

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Activator Rail
Activator Rail.gif




Blast resistance






Yes (64)





Data value

dec: 126 hex: 7E bin: 1111110



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:

Block Activator Rail
Hardness 0.7
Breaking time[note 1]
Hand 1.05
Wooden 0.55
Stone 0.3
Iron 0.2
Diamond 0.15
Golden 0.1
  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


Natural generation[edit]

Activator rails can be found in 27.1% of chest minecarts in abandoned mineshafts in stacks of 1–4.



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 rails it is connected to, up to eight away from the original activation source. Thus a single activation source can activate up to 17 rails (one original in the middle and eight on either side). An activated activator rail will not activate adjacent 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 (by default, one block to the right of the direction the minecart is moving and up to two blocks up, unless blocked)
  • repeatedly activate command block minecarts — a command block minecart will execute its command every three game ticks 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 four seconds 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]

Block data[edit]

See also: Data values

In Bedrock Edition, 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 states[edit]

See also: Block states
Name Value Description
True if rail is activated.
Specifies the rail's orientation.
A rail that ascends towards the direction noted.
For example, an ascending_west rail is a straight rail that goes upwards from the east towards the west.



Java Edition
1.5 13w02a Added activator rail.
13w02b Changed crafting recipe to include sticks and redstone torch. Previously, It only requires 6 iron ingots vertically at the end.
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.
1.9 15w39a Dismounting location is now predictable. Entities will dismount from vehicle (boats, minecarts, horses) by the right side relative to the motion of the vehicle. If the right side is unavailable, the other potential locations will be tested in this order : Right, Left, Back Right, Back Left, Front Right, Front Left, Back, Front.
15w44a Activator rails can now be found in abandoned mineshaft chest minecarts.
1.11 16w32b All rail types' hitbox heights are decreased from a full block to a half block.
1.13 17w47a Prior to The Flattening, this block's numeral ID was 157.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.13.0 build 1 Added activator rails.
Legacy Console Edition
TU19CU71.10Patch 1Added activator rails.
TU31CU191.22Patch 3Activated activator rails eject players and mobs from minecarts.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
0.1.0 Added Activator Rails.


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