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(This is Windows 10 edition with no mods.)

I have an automated sugar cane farm that uses a hopper minecart on a loop to zoom around and pick up the sugar cane that's been broken by pistons. The loop uses powered rails to keep the cart zooming around forever. However, when I save/quit the game and load back later, the minecart is always stopped. I've tried quitting right in the middle of watching the cart go past me, and when I reload it's stopped in front of me.

Based on what I've read online, a minecart is supposed to maintain its momentum when a chunk unloads and then loads again. Am I misunderstanding how this works? Is there some setting I can change? Or is this a bug?

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Yes, this is a known bug: https://bugs.mojang.com/browse/MCPE-24859
The best you can do against this bug is to vote for it (requires you to create a bug tracker account).

As a workaround, you could make a minecart start/stop station where you park the minecart before you exit the game and which starts it again after you joined.
To do that, just put a powered rail at one end of the track (with a block behind it) and a lever next to it (or on the block). Before you exit the game, turn off the lever and wait for the minecart to arrive there. When you start the game again, turn the lever on and the minecart will continue driving.
This is not very nice, but it's at least a workaround until the bug is fixed.

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