Making a Minecraft Mine Cart Train System: A Work in Progress


This post is on my world building adventures in the sandbox game Minecraft. To browse all other posts in the category click here.

I’ve spent far to much time exploring and building in Minecraft. I recently began an epic enterprise of connecting all my bases with high speed trains because it was taking too long to walk between all of them. This video was my inspiration:

But in order to get into the rail business, I need wood and iron, and lots of both. Trees were felled, mines were dug deeper and deeper. Iron ore deposits are fairly rare, so it takes a lot of chipping away and exploring to find them. The cave systems under my world are vast, treacherous, dark, interconnected and full of resources. As soon as I start to get familiar with them, I discover a new section and get lost again.

Digging resources requires resources: sticks and stone (or refined iron ore, or diamond!) to make pickaxes. Sticks and coal are needed to make torches so you can see. I have used hundreds of torches and worn through pickaxes in the double digits just to dig out the mines.

Most of my rail lines rest on the old elevated pedestrians walkways I built between bases. The main line runs from the Old Fort base, through my Spawn base, and up to the Citadel in New Krabi. I use the booster cart system (which is a bug/glitch) to make propelled trains in Minecraft. This works by using dummy carts that boost the passenger cart when it touches.

The boost track runs a short length next to the passenger track. The passenger cart descends a slope of one block and into the boost cart. Both carts are propelled forward at maximum speed. The boost cart rides up a short hill, hits a wall and slides back into place ready to boost again. The passenger cart travels forward for hundreds of blocks.

My stations are laid out so that I can re-boost the mine cart the whole length of the line. I have re-boosters at the Spawn base and at the boat house of New Krabi. Since track is resource intensive to make, the line isn’t a loop. To go in reverse, the cart is boosted in the opposite direction. Since the cart shares the same tracks, I have to get the cart to jump tracks in the middle booster stations so it can get fed past a booster going in the opposite direction. This is why the stations look so ugly and complicated.

Eventually, I hope to expand the tracks into new, undiscovered lands. Waterfall Valley is next. After that, the world is unexplored.

My world in Minecraft so far. Click to embiggen so you can actually read the labels. The rail lines are noted in yellow and are built on top of what used to be pedestrian walkways. The current lines are: The Old Fort Line which runs between the Old Fort and Spawn Base; The Krabi/Citadel Line which runs between the Spawn Base and The Citadel atop New Krabi Mountain. That station and the Old Fort station can be traveled to without switching trains. From Spawn Base, there is a spur line to the Mega Shaft Mine. Eventually this spur will turn into a full loop to Bunker and Old Fort. There is an underground line that runs from Old Fort underground to the bowels of the earth. An new line is planned to run from The Citadel to Waterfall Valley.

Looking up at the newly refurbished and towering Old Fort. Added: extra rooms, observation tower, ceilings, train station, mine train, waterfalls, new beach, and food gardens. In the foreground is the old high road that now supports the tracks. The track on the left will eventually go to the bunker and form a loop with the Mine Spur.

Looking into the main floor of Old Fort.

The mine cart station at Old Fort. Two lines can get propelled out using a single booster car. The line on the right is unfinished. Under this station is the beginning of the Old Mine Line.

Looking south from the top of the observation tower.

What was once a dirt quarry has been converted into an irrigated wheat garden.

The small wheat garden.

The cart to the Old Mine Line.

The terminus to the Old Mine Line, with booster cart to get me back to the surface quickly.

Looking down the massive Mega Mine shaft. It took many pickaxes to dig, and it bores through a massive network of confusing and lava filled caves.

Looking up from the bottom of the shaft.

One of the many hundreds of caves I’m exploring at the base of the shaft.

The track switching mechanism at Spawn Base station. I designed it so the mine cart gets boosted going from either direction.

The tracks leading over the Bay of Pointlessness towards New Krabi.

Sun setting as the Citadel looms ahead.

A looping section of track climbs a lot of height in minimal space. This is the home stretch before the Citadel station.

Looking over darkness of Waterfall Valley. I already laid the support for the new train line. I just need to craft enough track to get over here. This valley is gorgeous in the daytime, with tall cliffs, waterfalls, and plenty of space to develop. Currently, I just have a little outpost at will soon be a train station.

The Citadel looks out over the darkness.

Coming back towards Spawn Base.

Old Fort, a beacon of civilization in the lonely landscape.

When the moon hits your eye, that’s a Minecraft!

Some say Minecraft is like crack, “Minecrack” if you will. But I think it’s even worse. This game is like giving an addict the tools to make his own crack.

Check you later nerds, I need to score some more ore!

Find Minecraft at



Puh, sounds hard. well i guess i start diggin then.


how did u get a birds-eye-view of your map?


you are my inspiration


Cake, there are a lot of programs that allow you to get different views of your world. Check the Minecraft wiki, they have a list of programs that work with Minecraft. Look at the map viewing section.


download a cartograph, it makes quality views


The mapping options on Mac are slim. I think I used the deprecated version of MC Topographical Survey.

RaNdOm DuDe:

Wow!!!!! That is really awesome!!! Whenever i play minecraft i barely ever find any caves, so i spend hours upon hours digging around looking for some caves. Any hints on trying to find any?


RaNdOm DuDe:

Also, are the maps infinitely long?


RaNdOm DuDe,

For practical purposes, they are infinite, though I think the limit is something like 8x the size of earth.


you know that there is a program that allows you to choose your own tools and items and make tools that have a damage up to 32767 and a capacity to hold a specific item that is up to 255.This is called Invgrid i got this program via my friends so i am not sure how you will be able to get it,but it is very useful and helps when making buildings and other things.


Did you use a program named “Cartograph”?


Hi dude is it posible to download your world ?


I enjoyed looking at your world. Any chance of a short vid of you riding the lines?
I have been playing compulsively for over a week, but have yet to get enough Iron to even think about building tracks. I’m at about 50 ingots right now — each piece of track takes 6 ingots, is that right? You have clearly put in a lot of work! Good stuff! :)


Wait I just checked the Wiki — 6 bars makes 16 pieces of track.
I’m still impressed with your layout though.


Hi Gray,

Thanks for the Minecraft comments. I need to go back into that game and work on my world some more. I think I burnt myself out playing too much and needed to take a break. Plus, I wanted to start building huge structures but was too lazy to mine all the stuff I needed.


yeah the program posted by becca is called invedit and you just type it on google and it should come up as minecraft forums and you just click and install. then i get a bit confused but i managed to do it. :-)

all that track on grass is going to cause some nightmares with animals…


wow ur amazing haha,no really ur a inspiration


cud u upload this to download its amazifg i really want to test the track :D




man… that is awesome… you should definitely have that thing online and mak it the biggest online community… it would be aweome…


how to you make the rails turn


How do you cope with the annoying animals. They always get on my tracks and screw up my railway system

john lGO:

dude u rock i play minecraft 12 hours a day and going u inspired me i have a system now


Hey Nik,

Not sure if you’re a single player map or not, but I’d LOVE to invite you to join us on our private multiplayer server, could do with someone with as much engineering vision as you, so get in touch :)



i am building a new world and me and my friend are making a server


i am thinking about making a big project using rails and pistons


hello me again i thought i would tell you about the mods i use 1st single player commands 2nd too many items 3rd pistons (made a hidden door) 4th slopes (made 2 houses) thats all but i use to have mo creatures


To the people embarking on the crazy adventure of building a giant railway:
Your gonna need caves to find most of the iron to make this stuff, and an easy way to find a cave is to go underground and press F3. You should see some greyish slashes like a players name tag, but instead of a player name you get a long string of numbers. If they are underground, head to those numbers as those are monsters, and monsters = caves. Oh and try to keep the entrances to your mines indoors or trap doored, as they can get pretty big and if a monster wanders in during the night, the sun wont kill them and your gonna get a nasty surprise.


you are pure awesomeness
keep up the posts =)


You are truly my inspiration, you are an inspiration to all and you have made many proud people, i want to do what you do an live as you live, you are amazing, i was thinking of making a track system and when i saw yours!!…….


nice but if you put it in multi player griefers would probably like to remove 4 or 5 sections and drop you in the ocean.


Cool video but I don’t exatly understand the glitch to propel your carts, could u explain

how do you use the tools?

Noe J. Aquino:

I have seen what you did and i had a hinch.
Why don’t you make a your rail with power rails?

dudes, was wondering how to build your cart and i found this post (i have caves and rails) im building it on my online server so i can play with my friends, if u want to play too email me (i check my email every few days)
this post is inspiration to build more rails

sorry, but i want to sleep, thats why i have lots of mistakes in my text



To cope with annoying animals, build fences around your track. Or, you could build it 2 blocks above the ground.


hey there is a new krabi but what about having krabi


Coolness, making one next


was your world a seed or randomly generated

if it was a seed i would like to know the seed. im allways looking for good seeds


Randomly generated.


Mine craft is for baby’s

bob wind:

man, this is amazing.

bob wind:

could i do tis onxbox


absolutely amazing. have you considered multiplayer so you can grab some friends into something alot bigger like possibly a minecity? just make sure they are trustworthy to not grief you. then again, if they’re really involved in it to i don’t think they’d want to grief you in the first place. also, if u did play multiplayer you could get the security mod and make keycard acceses to different caves, mines and even PRIVATE rail lines by using gates. not to mention that u can use redstone lasers, mines disguised as regular blocks and all sorts of cool stuff. here’s a link for youtube that explains the security mod. i suggest every multiplayer out there gets this.


by the way, nice work. soooooooo jelly. keep it up and let me know if it ever ends.



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October 22nd, 2010. Categories / Minecraft

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