Thomas the Minecart

One of the things I didn’t touch on when writing the original guide that I probably should’ve was minecarts and railroad tracks.

They’re actually quite useful, even if they are an ABSOLUTE PAIN to create to their full in survival mode. But I’ve been making a creative mode world and having that minecart has been so wonderful because I get to places so much quicker than running and even sometimes flying. Making the minecart and the tracks isn’t necessarily the hard part, to be fair. The hard part is the added things you need to create, like Redstone Torches and Power Rails. THESE are the things that kill your resources.

Let’s first run down the types of minecarts there are, as there’s now so many to choose from:

  • Powered Minecart
  • Storage Minecart
  • Dispenser Minecart
  • TNT Minecart
  • Hopper Minecart
  • Spawner Minecart
  • Minecart Train

Now I don’t think some of these are available in the 360 version (in fact I think only the train, the storage, dispenser and powered are along with the normal minecart) and I may even be wrong on which ones are available. I’m sorry. But hey, this guide should cover everything, right? RIGHT? TIMMY. I’M ASKING YOU A QUESTION. LOOK AT ME WHEN I’M SPEAKING TO YOU. That’s it. Okay class, no ice cream for anyone because Timmy’s a little bitch. THANKS TIMMY.

Someone take Timmy outside and beat him.

Now that Timmy’s been dispatched, we can continue to discuss the minecarts. For this specific guide, I’m going to just cover the regular minecart, since that’s really all you need. I’ve never seen another person use any of the other ones, honestly. To create a minecart you need 5 iron ingots which you then just craft into a minecart. Pretty simple, right? To then add to that, you’ll need track or rails. Rails are the only way a minecart can travel. They are crafted by sticks and iron ingots, specifically 6 iron ingots and 1 stick will grant you 16 rails. Pretty good turnout, right?

There’s also a powered rail, detector rail and an activator rail. Rails can be placed from any place to any place (where you want to start to where you want to end) and can easily go uphill and downhill and turn corners with no problems, so get building mister. I’ll move right along to the specialized rails.

Let’s start with the detector rail because otherwise you’re not going to be able to move the minecart unless you get out, hit it and then jump back in before it zooms off into the sunset without you never to be seen again. A detector rail acts like a pressure plate. When any kind of minecart is on top of it, it’ll generate a redstone signal which will then be transmitted to blocks that are adjacent to the detector (including powered rails) and redstone placed under the rail. In 3rd grade internet words:


To make a detector rail, you’ll need 6 iron ingots, a stone pressure plate and a redstone. You’ll only be given 6 detector rails for this, much less than what you get for regular rails but you shouldn’t need many, so.

Next up are powered rails. These are the 2nd most important after the regular. These are used to stop or increase the momentum of moving minecarts. They operate by redstone currents whether it comes from a redstone torch, lever, button, circuit or detector rail. For the sake of keeping this guide simple, we’ll just be using redstone torches. To create a powered rail, you will need 6 gold blocks, a stick and redstone. Again, like the detector rails, you’ll only get 6 rails from this. Place them every 10-15 rails apart.

Now, here’s the important part.

Redstone Torches. It has several functions in redstone circuitry but the primary purpose is to act as a power source. To create them, you will need redstone and a stick. You will only get 1 each time, so you’ll need a LOT. Without the power these torches supply, your minecart will not get momentum and will not travel. Be sure to place a Redstone Torch next to each individual power rail that you have put down. Because there’s redstone in the rail and in the torch, the rail gets the energy from the torch and gives your minecart more momentum.

Minecarts are wonderful because while running does get you somewhere quicker, it also takes up your food. Sure, building this track and adding onto it at some point may be time consuming, but you’ll be happy you did it in the end. Especially if you build a chest minecart and put items in it that you need but can’t carry with you, so you just send the chest along to your destination then follow behind it in your own minecart.

Unlike boats (which I may at some point cover when they stop being useless), minecarts are a wonderful addition to the game in terms of getting from one place to another.

Use them.