Creating minecart terminal stations are simple, but building minecart substations are more challenging. When a minecart is stopped either by running out of velocity or through a powered redstone brake, how can the cart be restarted?

There are obvious solutions to this such as set a solid block behind the cart and power the powered redstone rail, but this doesn't work if the cart is in the middle of a track. You can also put the minecart on a slope with a powered redstone brake and apply power, but this requires the cart to sit on a slope - which is awkward for a player to get into and out of.

So on a flat surface in the middle of a track, how do you get a minecart moving again?

  • Solutions involving the latest snapshots are fine too.
    – Resorath
    Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 22:24
  • ok i read this question multiple times, what are you trying to accomplish? i get you want to get a cart moving again but you've already said you used powered redstone rail, although don't think you need a block behind it
    – Paralytic
    Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 22:45
  • ooo i get it now, just started trying to work it out and realized what you mean
    – Paralytic
    Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 22:48
  • @Paralytic Ya, unfortunately powering the powered rail under a stopped cart doesn't move it. If only..
    – Resorath
    Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 22:55
  • @Resorath - It wouldn't know which way to make it move.
    – SaintWacko
    Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 22:56

2 Answers 2


Use two pistons, one on either side of the track, when you press the button to start the cart, one piston pushes a block into the track behind your cart, then trigger the powered track. Then the first piston retracts and the second one triggers, pushing the track back into place. Let me know if you need further explanation.

  • This makes sense. I'll try when I get home.
    – Resorath
    Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 23:14
  • I use it pretty often. I also have another version that has the track sitting on a sticky piston, and it pulls the track down out of the way.
    – SaintWacko
    Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 23:47
  • @SaintWacko Can you post screenshots of it? I know it's simple but I'm having a hard time visualizing it.
    – Sadly Not
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 0:09
  • This works most of the time. However due to the nature of velocity the cart won't always stop perfectly on the powered rail brake, in that situation the block doesn't align properly. I'm not sure about the track on a sticky piston though @Saintwacko
    – Resorath
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 3:22
  • Here is the finished design i.imgur.com/he6fX.jpg
    – Resorath
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 7:51

Alright I messed around, and an idea immediately hit me. Since I suck at explaining anything here is a picture.enter image description here

As you can see I have the Minecart on a track of Power Rail connected to a Lever which also connects to a Sticky Piston with a Dirt Block on it. You have to be in the Minecart for this to work, it works kind of weird, so I suggest messing with it a bit since it made me go backwards for some reason. Sorry its a simple build and a bit of an eye sore but i'm sure you can turn it into something better, if not let me know i'll work with it a bit.

  • 2
    Does this... push the player?? I didn't know you could do this.
    – Resorath
    Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 23:13
  • yes, like I said it works weird but it did make me start going on the track without stop. I can make a video if you'd like? @Resorath
    – Paralytic
    Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 23:23
  • Interesting mechanism, but it doesn't meet the requirement of starting from the middle of the track. Maybe adaptable, though!
    – Shinrai
    Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 23:31
  • @Shinrai Yes, it could be adapted to lower the piston down first, and then power it. More complex than the other answer but an interesting use case.
    – Resorath
    Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 23:34
  • This looks related to how zipper elevators (used to) work. Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 3:34

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