I'm playing on an Economy mod server, and we have some really large farms that exceed the chunk size (namely, my farm is 400x200 blocks) and it's really easy to create a farm that needs what we on the server call an AFK rail, or a minecart railroad that will take you around the farm to continually load these chunks and keep your farm growing while you sleep.
The problem is that it appears to be several times slower than occupying one chunk, then moving on to the next chunk, et cetera. Even a rail spanning only two or three chunks takes about 4 times longer to grow a single chunk.
Can anyone think of a way around this? Is there a relatively easy way to create a railroad that stops you for say, 20 minutes at a time? The only way I can think of is a timer made with 4-tick repeaters, but that would require a lot of repeaters.