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With the advent of Minecraft beta 1.5 and powered rails, I'd like to find designs of good "railway stations" so I don't have to babysit minecarts in getting them set up for launch down a rail line.

What's the best way to design a powered rail station?

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what are you looking for in a rail station? I.e., what is the current functionality you have that you want to update? –  Raven Dreamer Apr 19 '11 at 22:05
    
I agree with @Raven Dreamer; are you looking for multiple destinations, cart magazine, or just a simple one cart push-button-to-launch? –  Kevin Y Apr 20 '11 at 2:01
    
I'm not far along enough for multiple destinations, but I'm not the only one interested in an answer to the question, so if you have a solution there that'd be great... A cart magazine with the new powered rails would be great to see demonstration of, too. Anything and everything you can think of! I'm sure I'll get around to trying them all sooner or later... –  fbrereto Apr 20 '11 at 2:50
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5 Answers 5

up vote 24 down vote accepted

One interesting property of the new powered rails are that they act as brakes when no power is applied to them. Because of this, you can make extremely simple stations like this one:

 ▮
▓━─━═━─↔

─ rail       ━ booster rail
▮ button     ═ detector rail
▓ any block

enter image description here enter image description here

The minecart rests on the slanted powered rail because it the track acts like a brake. When the button is pressed, the track becomes powered and boosts the cart away.

The sequence of detector, powered, detector track isn't a vital part of the station design, but is instead a 2-way booster. When a cart passes over the detector track, the powered rail becomes powered, making a very compact booster. This booster also helps push the cart up the unpowered slanted rail on arrival, resetting it for its next use.


I've been playing around with ways to make a cart magazine that isn't reliant on the cart boosting glitch. However, it's not as simple as constructing something like this...

enter image description here

...as additional minecarts will fall into the bottom one, melding together, instead of stacking.

YouTube user MinecraftAddict developed a hoizontal-cart-magazine-like concept using powered rails like this.

enter image description here

When the redstone is activated, each powered rail will send the cart to the next spot, while the final one will by launched to wherever you hook it up to. However, simply using a button may power the rails for too long and cause some carts to move two spaces, so you may need to use a monostable circuit.

enter image description here enter image description here

When the button is not pressed, the redstone torch on the side of the button's block keeps the output torch off. When the button is pressed, the first redstone torch turns off, turning the output torch off. At the same time, the repeaters have a redstone signal propagating through them. When the signal finally reaches the output block, the torch turns off again. By adjusting the delay time of the repeaters, you can adjust how long (short) you want the button press to last.

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bear in mind that in 1.5 base version, detector rails can cause a crash quite easily. I expect this to be fixed soon(tm). –  Raven Dreamer Apr 20 '11 at 3:19
    
It's interesting; I read about that bug but I haven't encountered any crashes. Then again, I may have subconsciously placed the tracks in the non-crashing order. –  Kevin Y Apr 20 '11 at 3:29
    
awesome, this is just what I've been lookin for. Also, for the crashing, the minecraft wiki say "As of Beta 1.5, when a detector rail is placed beside a regular rail or another detector rail, Minecraft crashes. This can be worked around by placing the detector rail first, before placing regular rails nearby." –  tombull89 Apr 20 '11 at 10:21
    
Eww, snow came to my sandbox world and made everything ugly, but I added a quasi-cart-magazine invention to my answer. –  Kevin Y Apr 21 '11 at 0:10
    
You and your unicode @badp. :) –  Kevin Y Apr 25 '11 at 17:54
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I did not make this, but I do not think a basic station can get simpler than this:

 ▮
▓┏━──→
 │
 ↑

─ rail       ━ booster rail
▮ button     ═ detector rail
▓ any block

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Nice design, but unfortunately the need to arrive at each "station" via a rail perpendicular to the powered rail means the track layout isn't very efficient. –  Kevin Y Apr 20 '11 at 21:32
    
I am not too overly worried about efficiency, aesthetics mean more to me... Not much to do with materials in this game except use them to build something :) I also liked the perpendicular vs the slope stop/start as it gave me an idea to have a few 'arrival stalls' to handle multiple people arriving at a station close together... ALl just ideas right now though, we shall see! :) –  James Apr 20 '11 at 23:31
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→───═━─━━─━═───→
     ..▮▮.. 
←───═━─━━─━═───←

─ rail       ━ booster rail
▮ Button     ═ detector rail
. redstone

The detector rail blocks push incoming minecarts in the middle section, where they are blocked in place by the unpowered booster rails. Pressing the button powers all the boosters, sending and boosting the cart in the other direction.

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Have you built this? Without testing it, I'm pretty sure I can say this design doesn't work. Powered rail won't accelerate a cart from a standstill unless it's sloped or against a solid block. In this design the carts will arrive in the middle and then stay there. –  SevenSidedDie Aug 27 '12 at 15:47
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I've been using the following design for a minecart station and have been very happy with it:

enter image description here

I don't recall where I saw this design suggested, but it consists of a 1-by-3 trench filled with powered rails and a button on the wall above the middle rail. When a minecart enters from either direction, it stops on the first downward-sloping powered rail it hits. To keep moving in the same direction, you just have to hit the button, which boosts the cart back to full speed. To reverse direction, you have to get out and push the minecart to the opposite slope. It's a very simple design, although it does require a button click at every station in order to go continuously from one end of your minecart system to the other.

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Another good method for use in a minecart station (particularly if you, for whatever reason do not wish to use the launch from an incline method) is to drop the minecart from above only to land upon the first booster rail track piece. This is executed rather well in the video linked.

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