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I've made some tracks and a cart but I can't figure out how to make the cart "go." It kind of glides along slowly when I put it down on the track and hop in, but does not have enough momentum to even go up a 1 cube incline.

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With this: (also, any other way of building enough momentum, be it boosters, gravity or powered minecarts) – Kevin van der Velden May 19 '11 at 15:25
@Yourdoom I'm not sure if by "booster" you meant "powered rails" or the side-by-side cart trick that increases speed. If it's the latter, I hate to break the news to you that boosters have been identified as a bug and are going to be fixed with next week's 1.6 update. Rail systems everywhere will suffer :) – Dave McClelland May 19 '11 at 21:07
Yeah I meant powered rails, never gotten boosters to work (haven't tried much which might be the reason though :p). Slimes still work though :D – Kevin van der Velden May 20 '11 at 6:12
up vote 17 down vote accepted

For a short term solution, a Powered Minecart is probably adequate if you're not going up severe inclines.

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The extensive use of coal over long periods of time probably isn't worth it though. If you are going to want to continue to use this setup for a long time, you should look into powered rails. They're more expensive to create, but they also don't require any materials for continued usage. If you go with powered rails, you will be interested to read this previously asked question

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As I commented on the linked question, switches are a cheap and useful way to power the powered rails; you get to save your redstone for repeaters, wire and tracks, and the switch allows you to disable the booster without breaking a torch. – Doktor J May 19 '11 at 14:55

The answer your looking for, other than a powered mine cart, is a powered rail.

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