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What's the maximum number of powered rails in a row that's useful?

I have been laying down a massive rail system over the last week or so, and the time has finally come to put in the booster tracks - I'm wondering what the minimum amount of track that is needed to get up to full speed?

I don't want to waste any more track than is needed, since I'm not willing to hack in any materials, and gold is in short supply.

As a follow up - is it better to use long strips of boosters, or broken up into smaller groups?

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marked as duplicate by Ben Blank, jmfsg Jan 26 '12 at 15:35

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

The Minecraft wiki has a lot of info on optimal booster usage.

Boosting from rest to max speed requires 3 tracks in a row for v1.6 and 1 every 42 spaces to maintain it on straight, flat ground.

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42? I thought it was 37. –  The Communist Duck Jun 8 '11 at 8:08

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