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When going up a slope, how often must you insert a powered rail to keep your cart going? What is the minimum to keep going at all, and what is a good recommendation for maintaining a reasonable speed?

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You might want to specify what kind of minecart you want to know about and whether it's occupied by a player or NPC since I think they all have different values for inertia and stuff. – newuser Apr 19 '11 at 19:07
up vote 9 down vote accepted

I also decided to do some testing on this subject. I placed a powered rail every third track, and these 3 track sequences repeated 8 times.

enter image description here

The minecart (with me in it) initially looked like it was easily going to make it, but closer to the end, the cart only barely caught the edge of the powered track to boost it. Depending on how hard I pushed the cart at the beginning, the cart would only sometimes make it past the final powered track to the lip on flat land.

enter image description here

From the looks of my testing, you could get by with 2 tracks between powered rails for very short inclines, but for carts with no entities inside them and longer inclines, you'll need to put a powered rail every other track piece.

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A cheaper means to power the rails is a switch - puts out constant power while flipped, and cheaper to make (save redstone for wires/rails/etc). Also lets you turn off boosters without breaking torches. – Doktor J May 19 '11 at 14:37
it looks like this answer may be changing in 1.6, as per – Raven Dreamer May 24 '11 at 3:57
Yeah, I saw that. I'll definitely revisit my answer when the update comes out (hopefully Wednesday!). – Kevin Yap May 24 '11 at 4:31
Based on this answer, I did the following, and it works at a reasonably fast speed: ooPooPooPooPPooPooPooPooPP..., where P is powered rail, o is normal rail, going up a long hill with constant slope of 1. – user1032613 Apr 26 '13 at 2:27

I experimented a bit. I placed a solid block to act as a brake, then two regular rails, then a powered rail with a redstone torch beside it, and then a slope. After pushing the cart approximately one block and getting into it, it managed to go up three blocks, but just barely. I tried with a sheep inside the cart and it almost reached three blocks, but it started falling down just before reaching the third meter. This may have something to do with how much I pushed the cart.

An empty cart, however, only managed to climb two blocks.

Pictures of my setup:

With me inside, the minecart managed to climb this: minecrart with me inside

While empty, it could only get this high: empty minecart

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Nice info, Thanks! Now to see if I can use a boost Up then a glide back down to get it to go farther than just a boost would go :) – James Apr 20 '11 at 0:19

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