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I am trying to setup a situation where I press a button and a minecart is pushed onto some powered track where it is then boosted up and giving a good speed.

This is what I tried (cross-section):


 ^ piston
   ^ minecart
    ^^^^ powered track

When I give power to the piston, the minecart gets shoved onto the powered track fine, however it just rests there. In order to get it boosted by the powered track, I have to manually touch it.

Is there a way to get the cart boosted automatically when it gets pushed onto the track?

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What version of Minecraft are you using? 1.7, 1.8-pre, 1.8-pre2... – badp Sep 13 '11 at 16:19
The 1.8-pre2 release – Tim Cooper Sep 13 '11 at 16:21
what about using a piston to push it onto an incline? Then gravity will move it onto the powered rail, and from there onto the powered rail where it can pick up speed normally? – Raven Dreamer Sep 13 '11 at 16:21
@Tim I'm afraid I'll have to ask you to wait for 1.8 to come out then... unless you can reproduce this in 1.7... except we already do have a good answer! – badp Sep 13 '11 at 16:24
Now I'm really confused. How was this a question about Minecraft 1.8 in 2011? – Peeja May 17 '14 at 20:59
up vote 13 down vote accepted

This can be done without the piston at all.

If a cart is sitting on an inactive powered rail which begins receiving power, it will start moving as long as there is only one direction for it to go. This occurs if…

  • …the powered rail is sloped (you will go downhill), or
  • …the cart's travel in one direction is blocked by a wall.

You can use this to start from the end of a track by placing a wall:

Powered rail hill-climbing test

Or in the middle of a track using a dip:


(Images courtesy of the official wiki's page on powered rails.)

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"the cart's travel in one direction is blocked by a wall." - I didn't know about that. Thanks! – Tim Cooper Sep 13 '11 at 17:10
ARGH! typo in the list. downwill should be downhill. (sorry its my inner perfectionism) – Joe the Person Oct 21 '11 at 2:45
@fireDude67 — Unhappiness is learning you missed a typo more than a month ago. >.< – Ben Blank Oct 21 '11 at 3:59
@Ben Unhappiness is learning you missed a typo when it jumps at you in A0 format – Zommuter Oct 21 '11 at 6:23
@Tobias Kienzler — Touché… :-) – Ben Blank Oct 21 '11 at 18:18

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