Detector Rail

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Detector Rail
Detector Rail.png
Powered Detector Rail.png




Blast resistance






Yes (64)



Catches fire from lava




Data value

dec: 28 hex: 1C bin: 11100

Namespaced ID


A detector rail is a block that can transport minecarts and can be used as a switchable redstone power source.


A detector rail can be obtained by crafting, or by breaking a previously-placed detector rail.


To remove a detector rail, mine it. Detector rails can be broken fairly easily by hand, but can be broken faster by using a pickaxe.

Block Detector 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 detector 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 +
Stone Pressure Plate +
Redstone Dust


Chest loot[edit]

Detector rails can be found in 27.1% of chest minecarts in Mineshafts in stacks of 1–4.


A detector rail can be used as a rail that can detect when minecarts are on it or how full container minecarts on it are.

To place a detector rail, use the Place Block control on the face of a block adjacent to the destination space.

A detector rail can be attached to:

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

When placed, a detector rail configures itself to line up with any adjacent rails (including activator rails, powered rails, and other detector 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, a detector rail lines up in the east-west direction. If there are no adjacent rails, a detector rail lines up in the north-south direction (but if a rail is later placed to the east or west, the detector 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 line up with is one block up, a detector rail slants upward toward it (with multiple options to slant upward to, a detector rail "prefers", in order: west, east, south, and north). Other configurations can be created by placing and removing various rails.

Mobs avoid walking across a detector rail (or other rails), but can be pushed onto them.


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

Redstone component[edit]

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

A detector rail activates when any minecart is on it (even if only a portion of the minecart is on it), and deactivates when no minecarts are on it. The length of the signal is always a multiple of 10 redstone ticks (although lag or unloading/reloading a chunk might affect this). While active, a detector rail:

Comparators give a signal for a minecart with chest or a minecart with hopper

If the minecart on the detector rail is a minecart with chest or minecart with hopper, an adjacent redstone comparator facing away from the detector rail outputs a power level proportional to the container's fullness, possibly power level 0. For any other type of minecart (including a regular minecart with a mob riding it) the comparator's output is zero.

A comparator can read the contents of a minecart with hopper or with chest on a detector rail through a solid opaque block, as it can with other container blocks.


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 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, a detector 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 Beta
1.5Detector Rail Revision 1.pngPowered Detector Rail Revision 1.png Added detector rails.
Java Edition
1.513w10aAdded texture for active detector rails.
1.915w44aDetector 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 28.
1.1418w43aDetector Rail.pngPowered Detector Rail.png Changed detector rail textures.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.13.0build 1Detector Rail Revision 1.pngPowered Detector Rail Revision 1.png Added detector rails.
0.14.0build 1Detector rails can be found inside minecart with chest in mineshaft.
Legacy Console Edition
TU1CU11.0Patch 1Detector Rail Revision 1.pngPowered Detector Rail Revision 1.png Added detector rails.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
0.1.0Detector Rail Revision 1.pngPowered Detector Rail Revision 1.png Added Detector Rails.


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

See also[edit]