|First Appearance||First Edition of Minecraft|
|How to Acquire||6 Iron Ingots|
Rails provide the most efficient transportation in the game. With a minecart, they can transport players, mobs, chests, and furnaces. They can be found naturally in Abandoned Mineshafts, although not a reliable source when attempting to build a more comprehensive rail network. It is best to wait until a good stockpile of iron is obtained.
1 stick + 6 Iron Ingot = 16 rails.
BuildingRails require solid block underneath to be placed. They turn and slope automatically when adjacent rails are placed appropriately. When building in the Overworld, it is advised to build an elevated rail system. Elevated rail systems help avoid mobs from walking onto the tracks and hostiles from attacking you while riding (plus you get a nice view). Be sure to light torches along your rail to avoid hostiles from spawning. Cobblestone is the most reccomended block to use as the elevated rail base for its abundance, blast resistance, and habit of building up in your inventory (so save your cobblestone). There is a special advantage to building your rail system in The Nether. Two portals in the Overworld are three times as far from eachother than in the Nether. So creating your rail between portals in the Nether is like skipping through space. This clearly has its hazards, so it is only reccomended for Nether veterans.
Rails are only used to move minecarts. But minecarts are not self-powered. There are 3 common methods to power a minecart.
1. Gravity: Minecarts pick up speed quickly when going downhill. Therefore, a player can build a tall tower with Ladder access, and build a gradually descending rail to move across long distances. At the start point, create at least one level rail, place the minecart, give it a gentle push and hop in. Although, this method requires no power, it can be wasteful because it works only in one direction and slows down in other directions.2. Coal Power: This method requires an empty minecart and a Minecart With Furnace (crafted by combining a minecart and furnace). A minecart with a furnace can move on a track by placing coal or charcoal in it. It will move away from the player. The Minecart with Furnace will not pull other carts, it will only push. So to setup, place your empty minecart, then place the Minecart with Furnace one block behind it, then stand behind the minecart with furnace and off to the side so as to get a good view of the empty minecart. Press the left trigger to load the Minecart with Furnace, then immediately press the left trigger on the empty minecart to hop in. When first trying this method, you may have alot of runaway trains, so practice this on a short track first. The coal will power the cart for several minutes, depending on the amount of slope.
3. Powered Rail: Powered rail is a subtype of rail that can accelerate or stop a minecart. 1 stick, 1 redstone, and 6 Gold Ingots can make 6 Powered Rails. This is by far the most efficient way to power your rail system, given you've mined plenty of gold. Powered rails have two states, powered and unpowered. Unpowered rails have dark, unlit redstone, and if a minecart rolls over it, it will stop the minecart. Powered rails accelerate a minecart. Redstone Torches, are the recommended power source because they are constant. Placing a powered rail with an adjacent Redstone torch every 30 or so rails is ideal to maintain maximum speed over long distances.
4. The Player. If the cart is pushed by the player it will move but not for a long distance.