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The railroad track, train track, or just railroad or track, is a tile introduced in Chip's Challenge 2. Movable objects can enter them only from their open ends and can only travel forward until they exit a railroad track from another open end. Multiple railroad tracks can be layered atop each other, creating a junction, which gives the object more options for its direction of travel. Ghosts, as well as objects carrying an RR sign, treat railroad tracks as floor. If an object attempts to move off a track in a direction that the track deems illegal, the track will attempt to redirect the object right, then left, then backward relative to the attempted direction, stopping at the first railroad-legal exit. This redirection process does not continue if an exit is illegal for other reasons, like if a wall is on the other end.
There is a glitch in which, if there is a thin wall on the track tile, an object on the tile will think there is a track from every open direction to the side with the thin wall. In other words, tracks will never redirect attempts to move toward these thin walls. Thin walls on tiles neighboring a track tile do not have this effect.
If a track switch is on the junction, then only one train piece is enabled at a time, and the enabled piece switches via a gray button press, an electrical signal if it is connected to wire, or an object travelling over it if the track is unwired. Any track tile can have a track switch, even though the switch only has an effect when there are at least 2 tracks on the tile. The tracks will always cycle in this order, skipping pieces when they are missing from the tile: NE, SE, SW, NW, EW (horizontal), NS (vertical).
If an object other than a ghost enters a track from an illegal direction, either by carrying an RR sign (and then dropping it), the way the level starts,[note 1] or a track switch on the tile activating after the object entered legally (including via spring mining), the object will become stuck and cannot leave the tile until the direction it entered from becomes a legal entrance again (if the track has no switch, the object is permanently stuck). If an object enters the track in a legal direction and exits in a legal direction from an unwired track with a switch, even if the object is carrying an RR sign, the switch will activate and cycle to the next track. (Note that the enter and exit directions (relative to the track) don't have to be different, so an object with a RR sign can move, for example, up and then down on an unwired switch track which is currently has vertical tracks enabled, and it will still switch to the next track, even if it is impossible to do without a RR sign)
It is possible for a track tile to have no actual tracks on it. These tiles look exactly like gravel, but behave like tracks with no legal entrances or exits. As such, hiking boots have no effect, and they can only be crossed with RR signs.
CC2 shows all inactive tracks with red rails and missing cross ties, like in this image.
- Railroad tracks are first introduced in Lesson 5. The track switch and its interaction with wires are introduced in Lesson 6.
- Internally, CC2 records entrance direction independently of the direction that objects face — if the player tries to exit in a legal but blocked direction, they will turn to push against the obstacle, but the legal exits will be unchanged. For actors that start the level on a railroad, the entrance direction is given in the level file. The built-in editor tries to match these whenever an object is placed on a track and force the object to face a legal entrance direction, though there are reports of this failing. CCCreator and CC2Edit do not do this, and allow users to edit these directions independently and without having to reconstruct the tile.