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Guide:Minecart rail systems

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Track Basics[edit | edit source]

  • Track components:
    • Minecart Track - Made with Iron Bars and wood at an Iron/Lead Anvil. This is a thrifty item with a good value, you get 50 track segments for one Iron Bar and one piece of wood.
    • Booster Track - Purchased from the Mechanic for 50 Silver Coin each. Perhaps not so thrifty, but great for automatically slowing a minecart into a station and accelerating it away again. Direction of boost can be switched using wire signals or a hammer. Coupling a wire controlled booster track with a directional switch can allow for consistent boost directions.
    • Pressure Plate Track - Made out of a regular track segment, and a pressure plate. Very useful for making automated switch selects.

Building tracks[edit | edit source]

  • Track can be laid in the air, and operates like furniture. You can grapple to it, but normally you will pass through it.
  • When using the smart cursor and traveling in a minecart at 11 mph, you can extend the track you are on continuously by placing tracks in front of you.
  • Hitting track with a hammer will change its behavior and how it connects to other tracks.

Track behavior[edit | edit source]

  • Track ends can have three different types; Stop, Bumper, and open. Hitting the track end with a hammer changes it.
  • Using a character left/right movement key or button will slow or accelerate a minecart. If the mine cart changes direction you do not have to change the direction of your key press if you are holding it down. If you release you will have to change to the cart's current vector to continue accelerating. Example, if you are going east in a mine cart, and holding down the right directional button or key or stick and you hit a bumper you will continue to accelerate as long as you keep the same direction (right) pressed even though you are now going west. If you release the directional control, you must then match the direction of the minecart or you will de-accelerate.
  • Holding down a character up/down movement key or button will force the minecart to take the upper or lower path of a switch track (see below) regardless of the current state of the switch track. This allows a branching rail network to be easily navigated in the early game before the player has access to wire tools. There may be some bugs with this method; travelling at high speed through a complex set of switches may sometimes send the minecart down the wrong path, especially if the minecart has just bounced off a bumper.

Tools and their effects on track[edit | edit source]

Using Grapples to lay track in the air[edit | edit source]

It is possible to use grappling hooks to hold onto track in space while building it. Using typical grappling hook moves will allow movement along the rail segments as you're building them. A skybridge can be built cheaply in this way because of the number of segments gained for a relatively low investment of iron ingots and wood. Only 280 wood, and 280 iron ingots (840 Iron ore) would be required to make a track that spanned an entire large world. Making a similar bridge system from wood platform would cost 8400 wood. Finding Iron ore may be more time consuming than using typical blocks, but a rail skybridge won't impede meteors or falling stars.

Using Hammers to edit track intersections[edit | edit source]

When two tracks intersect it is possible to make the intersection a switch by hammering it. The switch will have a default state and this state can be changed using the hammer or wire signals. Hammering or signaling an intersection repeatedly will cycle through the possible track selections of the intersection. Using a hammer to cycle an intersection will eventually bring it around to being disconnected. Hammering a two route intersection once will select one leg, two times the other leg, and three times the disconnected state. Hammering an intersection <routenumber> +1 times will bring the rail back to disconnected. It is possible to have a 4 leg junctions. Signalling a switch with wire will require n <routenumber> of switch branches to cycle through the intersection states. So if the intersection is connecting two possible track directions it will require only two signals to cycle all the possible states. Signalling with wire will not eventually disconnect a intersection segment, but hammering will.

Advanced Rail systems[edit | edit source]

Track Pressure Plates[edit | edit source]

  • Pressure plates only work on horizontal track, and will cause a cart to fall off if they are laid on a diagonal track section.
  • If you must make a passage detector for diagonal track, use a platform and a regular grey or brown pressure plate. Place the platform in the air next to the track on the side the player will pass by, and put the pressure plate on top of the platform.

Safe Rail Stations[edit | edit source]

  • You can make a safe track section that leaves a house by putting it in its own room with a door, and making a pressure plate activated actuated wall segment. The door to the room will prevent the train cart room from making an adjacent room not suitable. It is possible to make a safe, and suitable train station room in a multi-room house, but the track leaving the station must be two heights for it to be bi-directional because the mine cart will have to jump over the gap caused by a complete housing suitable actuated wall. Also, the safety wall will invalidate the house while the mine cart rides through it unless an extra door is used.
Suitable and unsuitable train station rooms.png
  • Train stations typically have colored lines in real life to indicate where you can go on a map. To replicate this in Terraria, you can use the roller brush for painting backgrounds and make the train stations have color coding.

Stop and Go Lights[edit | edit source]

  • Using colored torches you can make pressure plate activated signal lights. By turning off lights as you build them you can make switch state indicators. You can also trigger lights by having them connected to a track pressure plate system. By using one set of track pressure plates for switch cycling, and another set of pressure plates for directional indications it will be possible to make lights that indicate cart direction.
  • It is of course possible to mess up a light system so the incorrect lights are displayed. This is because the game does not support detection of light states, or logic gates.

Wired Switch Junctions[edit | edit source]

  • Two path switch junctions.
  • Three path switch junctions.
  • Four path switch junctions.

Making a rail system compliant switch body with green and yellow lights[edit | edit source]

  • Make a platform 3 blocks long, put a lever on it, and a green and yellow torch. Connect the green torch to the lever, and turn it off. Then connect both torches back up. Now you have a switch that alternates between a green or yellow light. On rail systems green means the switch is selected for straight ahead, and yellow means the divergent track is selected. Connect your switch body to the track switch with the track switch in the matching state. If the straight head track is selected, switch the switch body to the green light, and then connect it. The opposite if the divergent track is selected.

Making a directional switch toggle track section to force a switch select direction from a certain direction[edit | edit source]

  • In order to make a toggle switch that flip flops between tracks you must match the number of toggles on a track switch to the number of times a mine cart passes. So if you have a two position track switch, you must toggle it once for each change of direction. If you make a pressure plate that the cart passes over and then a bumper, you end up passing over the pressure plate twice if the cart is moving slowly, and you merely switch the track back again. However, if the cart is fast enough, it will only toggle the pressure plate once, allowing you to toggle the track back after.

Jumps[edit | edit source]

  • Using background colored platform to extend jumps and cause interesting visual behavior.
  • To make a simple jump just hammer an upwards facing track until it has no ending stop or bumper. Test the track at speed, and then mine out blocks appropriately so you can fly along. Put landing tracks at the appropriate place. Its possible to also use wooden platform to land on, and if you paint the wooden platform to match the background you can create improbably far looking jumps.

How to build an escalator[edit | edit source]

  • Make a diagonal line of wood platforms, and hammer each one. They will turn into stairs. Paint them grey, and use a background that goes up diagonally with the stairs. Unlike a line of diagonal platforms, a player will walk up a stair automatically. NPC's will also walk up automatically so NPC direction can be guided. (Notes: Using SmartCursor, platforms will automatically turn into stairs when placed in a diagonal line; as of 1.3.1, a much easier way of doing this is with conveyor belts.)

How to build a ticket booth[edit | edit source]

  • Make a suitable room at the start of your train station with a pressure plate actuated door and have an NPC live it. Spruce it up with a desk or some glass walls to make a ticket counter. If you put the "standing space" for the NPC in the right place, the NPC will often stand behind the ticket counter and look like a ticket sales person.

How to build a vending machine for a train station[edit | edit source]

  • A pretend vending machine can be made using a Dresser or a Bar, some fence, some glass or stained glass, three blocks, and a bottle. It is also possible to paint a bookcase to look like a candy vending machine.
  • You can use the paint brush to paint a placed bottle to make it look like a potion in a vending machine.