With the upcoming Redstone Update, I see the possibility of improving existing automated minecart station designs. One way of doing so is to vastly increase the storage capacity (or vastly reduce the required footprint) of the minecart storage area using hoppers, chests, and dispensers (or droppers, whichever is more appropriate).

My problem is, how can I reliably break a (presumably empty) minecart with just the environment such that it can be sucked up by a hopper? As far as I know, anything in the environment that can break a minecart can also destroy items, meaning instead of reusing them, they simply disappear.

3 Answers 3


This has been solved by some smart redstone YouTubers, with one of their tutorial videos below:

They drop the cart next to a cactus, but in my testing, I haven't found this to be strictly necessary. Simply having the cart travel straight into a cactus also works. The key in both instances is to have a hopper ready to accept the itemized cart. Without it, there's a chance it'll be destroyed by the cactus. The design below shows this, and is inspired by BDoubleO100 in this video. It may be hard to see, but there is track on top of a hopper which feeds the dispenser. The slab above serves 2 purposes: prevent the cactus from growing, and prevent damage to a hapless player, should they enter the area by mistake.

Minecart breaker

  • What happens if there's a player in the cart when it hits the cactus?
    – SaintWacko
    Jan 28, 2013 at 14:33
  • I my version, they appear on the track, or possibly on one of the blocks beside the track. There is also the possibility that they'll pick up the cart instead of having it deposited in the hopper. The vision for my design is to use this for empty carts only, however the version in the video breaks the carts while occupied, and the rider automagically pops out in the arrival area.
    – MBraedley
    Jan 28, 2013 at 15:17
  • I'm going to add that you can also use activator rails on a cart with a player in it (though this is not 100% reliable), or use an arrow dispenser that shoots the cart, as this breaks the cart but doesnt destroy the item. Feb 6, 2020 at 20:29
  • The video link uses HTTP, which is frowned upon especially for YouTube and similar sites. Consider changing it to HTTPS, I'd submit an edit but it's too small.
    – Egor Hans
    May 30, 2021 at 15:13

In modern versions of Minecraft, the drop of a broken Minecart always flies away from the cactus, so it can be picked up by hoppers with 100% reliability. And even if the hopper is full, the item should still stay on it (and on the rail).


If you take a dispenser and fill it with fire charges, it will fire them at your minecart and it will break but not make it disappear.

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