I'm relatively new to Minecraft but I'm having trouble finding a straightforward solution to my problem.
I've built a minecart track about 479 blocks long in a straight line. I placed redstone torches every 8 blocks and a row of 3 powered rails to keep my cart moving unattended or to be used as a fast travel system. At the end of this track there will be a fork in the tracks to go to two different locations if I can get even the cart to show up.
Next to the track, I hollowed out a conduit and laid a redstone dust trail the length of the track. When this didn't seem to work I found out about repeaters. So I dug up the first 50-60 blocks of my conduit and placed repeaters every 15 blocks. When this didn't work I found out about repeaters direction and finally made a circuit that I could follow the entire distance and see lit up.
So I buried the conduit again and then had a friend hit my lever while I stood at the end of the track. His redstone lit up and mine did not. Then I learned about chunk limits and the way I understand it, there are chunks between the two of us that are just not loaded, so the actions cannot pass the length of the redstone dust.
I've heard so much about chunk loaders and the /forceload command but I don't really want to mod my server and the /forceload command seems to change nothing. That being said, I've found the tutorials and explanations dated and they never easily explain how to use it.
One end of my track is at 996 67 175, and the other is at 996 64 654. The chunk coordinates for those two show as 62 40 and 62 10. I went to my server and entered the command
/forceload add 996 175 996 654 and it confirmed 31 chunks were added to the force load, but the minecart never showed up when sent from the other end until I walked far enough then it popped onto the track. Then I removed that with
/forceload remove 996 175 996 654. I saw a Youtube video that says you need to use the chunk coordinates, so I entered
/forceload 62 40 62 10 and it showed that 3 chunks were force loaded this time, but again the cart did not appear until I walked the track close enough to my friend.
Can anyone explain how this works, because I'm nearly certain I'm doing it wrong. If it matters, one end of the track is at his home, so I think that is a spawn point since he has a bed there, but I don't know.