Minecraft Wiki
Detector Rail




Blast resistance



This block can be broken with any tool, but a pickaxe is the quickest




Yes (64)





Data value

dec: 28 hex: 1C bin: 11100



A detector rail is a block which can transport minecarts and can be used as a switchable redstone power source.


A detector rail can be obtained by crafting, or by breaking a previously-placed detector rail.


To remove a detector rail, mine it. Detector rails can be broken fairly easily by hand, but can be broken faster by using a pickaxe.

Block Rails
Hardness 0.7
Breaking time[note 1]
Hand 1.05
Wooden 0.55
Stone 0.3
Iron 0.2
Diamond 0.15
Golden 0.1
  1. Times are for unenchanted tools in seconds. For more information, see Haste § Instant mining.

A detector rail will also be removed and drop itself as an item:

  • if its attachment block is moved, removed, or destroyed
  • if water flows into the detector rail's space
  • if a piston tries to move it vertically, or if there is no valid attachment block at the new position after a horizontal move

If lava flows into a detector rail's space, the detector rail will be destroyed without dropping itself as an item.


Ingredients Crafting recipe
Iron Ingot +
Stone Pressure Plate +


Natural generation[]

Detector rails can be found in 27.1% of chest minecarts in Mineshafts in stacks of 1–4.


A detector rail can be used as a rail which can detect when minecarts are on it or how full container minecarts on it are.

To place a detector rail, use the Place Block control on the face of a block adjacent to the destination space.

A detector rail can be attached to:

  • the top of any full solid opaque block (stone, dirt, blocks of gold, etc.), including full-block mechanism components (command blocks, dispensers, droppers, note blocks, and redstone lamps)
  • the top of a hopper, upside-down slab, or upside-down stairs.

A detector rail cannot be attached to the side or bottom of any block, but attempting to make such an attachment may cause the detector rail to attach to the top of a block under the destination space. For example, if a fence is on the ground, attempting to attach a detector rail to the side of the fence will cause the detector rail to be attached to the top of the ground next to the fence instead.

When placed, a detector rail will configure itself to line up with any adjacent rails (including activator rails, powered rails, and other detector rails), as well as adjacent rails one block up. If there are two adjacent rails on non-opposite sides, or three or more adjacent rails, a detector rail will line up in the east-west direction. If there are no adjacent rails, a detector rail will line up in the north-south direction (but if a rail is later placed to the east or west, the detector rail will re-orient itself in the east-west direction even if it is already connected to another rail to the north or south). If a rail it would line up with is one block up, a detector rail will slant upwards towards it (with multiple options to slant upwards to, a detector rail "prefers", in order: west, east, south, and north). Other configurations can be created by placing and removing various rails.

Mobs will not try to walk across a detector rail (or other rails), but can be pushed onto them.


Detector rails (and other rails) act as "roads" for minecarts. A minecart that enters a detector rail's space from either end of the detector rail will continue to move, losing only a little velocity (which can then be increased again with powered rails). A minecart that enters a detector rail's space from the side will turn east or south (depending on the detector rail's orientation), or in the downward direction for a slanted detector rail.

Redstone component[]

Example for signal strength of a full minecart (27 stacks) and a half-full one (14 stacks)

See also: Redstone circuit

A detector rail activates when any minecart is on it (even if only a portion of the minecart is on it), and deactivates when no minecarts are on it. While active, a detector rail:

  • powers adjacent redstone dust and adjacent redstone repeaters facing away from the detector rail, to power level 15
  • powers adjacent redstone comparators facing away from the detector rail to a level corresponding to the fullness of the minecart if it is a Minecart with Chest or a Minecart with Hopper.
  • strongly powers any full solid opaque block beneath the detector rail to power level 15
  • activates any adjacent mechanism components, including above or below, such as pistons, redstone lamps, powered rails, etc.

Comparators only give a signal for a minecart with chest or a minecart with hopper

If the minecart on the detector rail is a minecart with chest or minecart with hopper, an adjacent redstone comparator facing away from the detector rail will output a power level proportional to the container's fullness, possibly power level 0. For any other type of minecart (including a regular minecart with a player or a villager riding it) the comparator's output is zero.

Data values[]

A detector rail has the ID name minecraft:detector_rail and is further defined by its block data. A detector rail also has a block state which is expected to replace the functionality of block data in a future version.

Block data[]

See also: Data values

A detector rail's block data stores its orientation and activation status:

Bits Values

A three-bit field storing a value from 0 to 5:

  • 0: flat track going north-south
  • 1: flat track going west-east
  • 2: sloped track ascending to the east
  • 3: sloped track ascending to the west
  • 4: sloped track ascending to the north
  • 5: sloped track ascending to the south
0x8 Set if rail is active.

Block state[]

See also: Block states
Name Value Description
True if rail is activated.
Specifies the rail's orientation.
A rail that ascends towards the direction noted.
For example, an ascending_west rail is a straight rail which goes upwards from the east towards the west.



1.5Added detector rails.
Official release
1.513w10aAdded texture for active detector rails.
1.915w44aDetector rails can now be found in abandoned mineshaft chest minecarts.
1.1116w32bAll rail types' hitbox heights are decreased from a full block to a half block.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.13.0build 1Added detector rails.
Console Edition
TU1CU11.0Patch 1Added detector rails.


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