Here's a video of my base to beach minecart route. It's almost completely underground using around 95% natural caverns (occasionally had to dig between them when they didn't link up). It's all legit with the exception that about 3 times I had to use Cartograph cave view to find the next natural cave. It uses 1,369 track sections (514 iron) not counting booster tracks and takes about 2.5 minutes.
Video of the ride:
Here's my current map with the rail route in red (right click the image and "View Image" to see the whole thing):
Hehe, that was fun to watch. Nice choice in music, and it had about everything in 2 minutes. Some of each mine-able substance a creeper, a zombie attacked you, I think, a refreshing view of the lake and landscape for a minute, then finally, the beach. :biggrin.gif:
But, I'm pretty sure there was at least 4 diamonds unmined near your cart...
I'll post the current map when I get home from work tonight. I also have the raw map before I built anything. It's a really awesome map if you like cliffs, plateaus, and large overhangs. I spent 5 hours generating different maps until I got that map one afternoon while I was watching movies. My current map is a little ugly since I've basically spent all my time linking those caverns and grabbing iron for the tracks. I plan on using some Wervyn's advanced station techniques (http://www.minecraftforum.net/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=26655) next.
Did that creeper end up exploding part of your track?
No, I got lucky. I think there's 3 parts of that track where mobs tend to spawn that I need to go clean up.
Nice timing with the music too.
Pure luck. I lol'd when I came out of the cave.
This is soo cool, tell me is the whole thing a cave or did you mine everything?
It's almost entirely untouched natural caves with the occasional tunnel dug between two when I couldn't find a better route. I did "cheat" though using Cartograph a few times to help me find the next cave but for the most part I used this method:
1. Figure out the general direction I needed to go.
2. Put redstone torches on north facing walls every so often.
3. Go through the caves placing signs with my current North/South/East/West position relative to my main base's door.
4. When I hit a dead end I jack the volume up and slowly walk near the walls listening for water or monsters then mine towards the sound.
5. Explore the new cave and mine the shortest/best path to the previous cave.
Here's the image I used to find caves when needed: http://www.ramenite.net/overview.jpg
I layered Cartograph normal view on top of cave view and set the transparency on the normal layer to 30%.