Building a Railroad

I want to build a railroad from my iron mines to my main home. Any advice?

Right now my biggest issue is that I cannot figure out what to do with the stakes once they are sitting on the gravel road. Do I hit them with a mallet? That does not seem to do anything…and yes, I tried swiping from all directions with the mallet, too. What am I doing wrong?


for the stakes you have to swipe them onto the gravel.

the railroad is ment to be a one way line. so for going both direction you should build 2 tracks. think of it as more of a multi station circle line.

of course there is an end piece. but it is not ment to be used as end piece. the end piece is only there for bringing carts on the circle line.

corner pieces have 3 direction (left, straight, right). you can set it once, but can change it later on with a chisel.

there are 2 flags you can use. red is for stop. green is for sending carts backwards, if you made a dead end.


I recently finished my set of tracks, and let me tell you… it’s a struggle. I was planning to make a guide, but kind of abandoned it when i figured it out and got to work. The stakes on gravel are the most confusing thing and I think it’s some kind of glitch because the book does not notice it, but: you need to swipe the stakes on the gravel in order to hit them with the mallet! otherwise it will tell you to do so, but it wont work.


You are Hopes’ extensive Guide to Tracks

This is a step to step guide on building a track-system. It’s easier to plan and finish a big project like this knowing what is possible and what is needed. Feel free to comment any further questions or info and I’ll try to incorporate it.

1. Think about it

Do you need a track? The speed is one tiles per second. 1 cart has 4 slots. They can not be upgraded. Building them takes up a lot of resources - iron as well as wood. Tracks with corners will only function one way without you stepping in and changing the turntables manually. In most cases, a horse-carriage is more useful to transport stuff. However, if you use the same route a lot, tracks are nice to have. They won’t run away and get lost like lose horses and are immune to snakebites lol. The move slowly but independently, which allows you to do other things in the meantime. They also don’t decay (as far as i know). They are not as useful as you might think, but a fun addition to any advanced city!

2. Mining

To build a track, you will need to build a gravel path first. You get gravel from mining. Either start from a bear cave or a vein. You will also need loads of iron for the tracks, so it makes sense to use your tools wisely and not waste any material. Sadly there seems to be no guide for mining yet, so maybe we can work on that next.

3. Gravel Paths

Build gravel paths by putting square floor stakes in the ground, dig out 1 basketful of dirt, then fill the hole with gravel (a basket is full when picking up 3 small gravel piles). The dirt will vanish after a while - so if you plan on using it for cobblestone-pavement, don’t wait to long. Also, don’t pre-dig the path when you don’t have the gravel yet: The holes will fill too. And you will not get the stakes back after putting the gravel down, so… you will need a lot of them.

◌ Optional: Turntables

If for any reason you need to have your track go around corners, you can use turntables. They will allow you manually change the direction of the tracks by 45 degree. @Quartermoon made an excellent guide to this in the comments that explains everything in detail! I just summed it up here for the sake of completeness: Place a “Big Plate” on top of the gravel. It’s made from one steel-ingot, that needs to be heated up and put under the firing Newcomen hammer 5 times. In the next step, you will have to add a steel-spring on top. Next add a small pulley (one hot steel ingot under the newcomen hammer twice). You can change the direction of the turntable by placing a chisel ontop and hitting it with a smithing hammer. Swipe a track kit on the turntable base, and it’s ready to use!

4. Stake out the route

Swipe the stakes on the gravel - It will look the same as simply dropping them on gravel and the book can’t differentiate either (might be a bug @Christoffer ?) but otherwise you won’t be able to hit them with a mallet in the next step. Hit once for horizontal, twice for vertical stakes. Those will create track-segments that are open to both opposing sites. Hit the stakes 3 times to create a cross-section. Hit the stakes 4 to 7 times to create track-ends. Track ends are rounded off on one side and can not be extended in that direction, thus will make the cart stop. You’re going to want to connect two opposite track-ends in a consistent line.

5. Build the tracks

Swipe a track kit (wooden boards + steel blade) onto the track-stakes. They will turn into tracks, corresponding to the type of stakes you put down. If you make a mistake, they can be removed by swiping a steel mining pick on them. Make sure there are no gaps in-between before you take the next step!

6. Go!

Now you are ready to add the carts! Take a track-cart kit (wooden boards + 4 wooden wheels + spring) and place it on a track end! It will magically transform into a cart and start moving along the tracks once you tap it. Pack the cart by swiping items onto the cart like you would with a basket. There are 4 slots per kit! You can have multiple carts on one track, but they will get stuck and not be as easily reactivated by just tapping. You will need a return flag, see next step!

7. Turn around!

Every now and then i get a little bit lonely. But nvm, to make your carts turn around and move in the opposite direction, build a green flag. Swipe one stake onto a yew shaft. Next, swipe 1 green cloth onto the upright square angle that you created. Getting green cloth is a whole process in itself that involves killing a cow, i won’t get into detail here, but you can see it here. So voilà, a white arrow appears magically on the cute flag that you’ve created and it’s ready to use. When holding it, swipe onto the cart you want to send on its way.

8. Stop!

Use a red flag to stop a cart immediately! This can be useful to prevent it from crashing onto unfinished segments and become stuck, or to have extra stops in-between track-ends. Swipe one stake onto a yew shaft. Next, swipe 1 red cloth onto the upright square angle that you created. To create red cloth, have a look at the recipe. After this, the flag is ready to use. Place it on the tracks wherever you want a cart to stop by swiping it into position. It will stand upright and prevent any moving cart from passing. Remove it by tapping and all carts should continue in their original direction.


This is all fabulous. Thank you!


@Maengish I remember when we did the first railroad together, after the new update came out. it was in Valhalla (RIP) and went from Smith place to bear cave and back.

I guess, filming it would be helpful. but also would be a looong video.


this nice advice :+1::clap::heart:. that you remember all that :ok_hand:

Ones i builded a railroad between Smith and bearcave mining which was IN ONE LINE. then you don’t need a railroad loop but just one way. as you can use the flags to lead the tracks to go backwards.
is then a bit tricky with the last/first track. but you will figure it out by trying to tap it.

as soon you have a “curve” /change of direction(turntable) in railroad it’s better to make it only one way and as circle/loop.
because the track can’t go back the “corner piece” without always undo the whole thing and place it again in the right direction. it’s possible tho-you need chisel for that. and… I think shovel or pickaxe to undo the turntable/corner track piece


I built mine in a single line too - it’s complicated enough lol. And i have a new problem, where i added a second cart and it blocked the first one in the end. Like, one is set to “up” and the other one to “down” apparently, and they cannot move now unless i make a green u-turn flag :roll_eyes: anybody know how to prevent that from happening or is it just always neccessary to make u-turn flags to add more than 1 cart?


yes you always need a green flag so the track move back the other direction

(idk but the picture got cut a bit. railroad ends south, Smith is just right side to it)

how does your s look like?


What I have planned out is a long straight section with loops at both ends, like a p and a b connected to each other by the straight part. So there would be no need to manually reverse the carts at the end, they would reverse naturally by going around the loop. Has anyone tried this?

It does require a three-way intersection, but I was planning on using a turntable for that.


if I understood right, yes I did build something like that.

if it looks like this


Yes! My plan is two of these, with the End piece you have at the bottom left actually continuing, running to the second loop.


I kept forgetting to take screenshots but yeah basically the same layout. I made 2 flags and it went smoothly back and forth a few times, but now one of the carts is stuck again (probably for as long as the other is moving - and its almost a minute for one way lol). I had hoped the work would pay off more but well, still a nice “attraction” for the town.

Edit: The cart remains stuck and wont move with the flag. now i have a cart on either end :roll_eyes:


So on the cross sections the carts will automatically change direction? That sounds really interesting, maybe you can share your progress here :)) Also for the guide, how exactly do you make cross ones? do you still only need one track kit?


try to tap the last cart without flag.


the carts cant go the other way through a turntable. we tried.

they can go in only one way and go out the other three ways.


Tbh i don’t really understand it, but through a combination of tapping, flagging and waiting i usually get both carts to where they’re supposed to be lol.


Well, I have figured out the limits on railroads, and they are pretty significant. I did not really understand what you meant, @Maengish, when you said carts “can go in only one way and go out the other three ways”. But now I realize that the turntables create an actual blockage, because the “out” direction is ONLY the direction of the arrow. Yes, you can set that arrow to any of the four cardinal directions, but that is a hands-on process involving removing the tracks themselves and resetting the arrow with a chisel and smithing hammer. And once set, the path through the turntable is unchanging until you go through that process again—the reverse flag has zero affect on the way a cart is allowed to pass through a turntable!!

So my lovely Home station is really a dead end…my cart can leave the station but never return…

And my Mine #1 station will not let my cart back in once it has left! I had intended on extending the rails past this point to a second mine further north, but now know that will not work…the carts will get stuck when trying to go back through any turntable.

Very disappointing.

Clearly, the design is for EITHER a perfectly straight path, with no turns…carts can go back and forth using a green “reverse” flag….OR a loop, where a cart never turns around, but travels in a continuous circle (meaning double the length of track, one side going out and another side returning).

Since a straight line from my mines to my forge is impossible, I guess I will have to go with a loop…but good grief that will take a lot of iron and wood!!!


Oh noo… Well the term “turntable” is misleading fr, you’d think that if it can turn at all, it should be able to turn back as well.

So about the loop - There is no way to stop it, except with the red flag? I imagine that to look pretty fun - but be super unpractical if you just want to move some iron and have to wait for the right moment your cart rolls by so you can try to stop it :melting_face:

If they ever add anything to the game, simple rounded corner tracks would be awesome!

Still, idk what server you play on, but i’d be glad to help :slight_smile:


I plan to have one that goes all around and have it constantly going around and have a red and green flag at each station. It’s more for looks not gonna lie. But thinking about smelting all that iron had me shock. I’m literally 15% done. It’s a project that’s making me sweat :sweat_smile: