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Activator Rail

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Activator Rail
Texture Update Activator Rail.png
Texture Update Powered Activator Rail.png




Blast resistance






Yes (64)



Catches fire from lava




Data value

dec: 126 hex: 7E bin: 1111110

Namespaced ID


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. For more information, see Haste § Instant mining.

An activator rail also drops as an item when the block beneath it is removed, water or lava flows over it,‌[Java Edition only] or a piston moves it into a space with no floor below it.


Ingredients Crafting recipe
Iron Ingot +
Stick +
Redstone Torch


Chest loot[edit]

Activator rails can be found in 27.1% of chest minecarts in 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 causes the activator rail to be attached to the top of the ground next to the fence instead.

When placed, an activator rail configures 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 aligns itself in the east-west direction. If there are no adjacent rails, an activator rail aligns itself in the north-south direction (but if a rail is later placed to the east or west, the activator rail re-orients 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 align with is one block up, an activator rail slants upward toward it (with multiple options to slant upward 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 continues 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 turns east or south (depending on the activator rail's orientation), or in the downward direction for a slanted activator rail.

Redstone component[edit]

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 also activates 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 does not activate adjacent rails not connected to it.

An activator rail affects minecarts above it with varying effects that occur as soon as any part of the minecart is on the activator rail.

An active activator rail:

  • ejects 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 activates command block minecarts — a command block minecart executes its command every four game ticks until the command block minecart is no longer on the activator rail
  • disables hopper minecarts — a disabled hopper minecart cannot pick up items it travels through until it is enabled by an inactive activator rail (or until it is broken and re-placed)
  • primes TNT minecarts — primed TNT minecarts explode after four seconds with an explosive power proportional to their speed over the activator rail.

An inactive activator rail enables hopper minecarts — an enabled hopper minecart picks up items it travels through until it is disabled by an active activator rail.


Sound Subtitle Namespaced ID Subtitle ID Source Pitch Volume Attenuation distance
Block breaking block.metal.hit subtitles.block.generic.hit Blocks 0.75 0.25 16
Block broken block.metal.break subtitles.block.generic.break Blocks 1.2 1.0 16
Block placed block.metal.place subtitles.block.generic.place Blocks 1.2 1.0 16
Footsteps block.metal.step subtitles.block.generic.footsteps Blocks 1.5 0.15 16
No subtitle block.metal.fall (Plays when fallen on from a height) Blocks 1.125 0.5 16

Data values[edit]

Block data[edit]

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]

Java Edition:

Name Default value Allowed values Description
True if rail is activated.
Specifies the rail's orientation.
A rail that ascends toward the direction noted.
For example, an ascending_west rail is a straight rail that goes upward from the east toward the west.

Bedrock Edition:

Name Default value Allowed values Description
True if rail is activated.
The direction the rail is facing.


Java Edition
1.513w02aAdded activator rail.
13w02bChanged crafting recipe to include sticks and redstone torch. Previously, it required only 6 iron ingots vertically at the end.
13w03aActivated activator rails disable minecarts with hoppers.
1.7.213w39aActivated activator rails activate minecarts with command blocks.
1.814w05aActivated activator rails eject players and mobs from minecarts.
1.915w39aDismounting location is now predictable. Entities 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 are tested in this order : Right, Left, Back Right, Back Left, Front Right, Front Left, Back, Front.
15w44aActivator rails can now be found in abandoned mineshaft chest minecarts.
1.1116w32bAll rail types' hitbox heights are decreased from a full block to a half block.
1.1317w47aPrior to The Flattening, this block's numeral ID was 157.
1.1418w43aTexture Update Activator Rail.pngTexture Update Powered Activator Rail.png Changed activator rail textures.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.13.0build 1Added activator rails.
0.14.0build 1Activator rails can be found inside minecart with chest in mineshaft.
Legacy Console Edition
TU19CU71.10Patch 1Added activator rails.
TU31CU191.22Patch 3Activated activator rails eject players and mobs from minecarts.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
0.1.0Added Activator Rails.


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

See also[edit]