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The World Anchor is a block from Railcraft which keeps the chunk it is in and the neighbouring 8 chunks in memory. This means that all the machines around it will keep functioning no matter how far away you are or even if you are in a different dimension. It is useful in places where a lot of power generators and processing machines are present as it allows you to move away from these chunks without slowing down your energy or item production. A similar block is the Chunk Loader from ChickenChunks.
They require 1 Ender Pearl for 12 real hours of operation.
World Anchors can also be placed in minecarts via the Anchor Cart. This allows one to move the anchor via rails. This is especially popular in conjunction with Tunnel Bores, as one can keep the bore constantly loaded in memory by linking an Anchor Cart behind it. They can be used in conjunction with an Anchor Sentinel to load a line of chunks instead of a square.
Since the World Anchor needs 1 ender pearl for every 12 hours of operation, another way to get your chunks loaded could be done with the more expensive solution of a Quarry. This solution will only be valid in the long run, due to the fact that the Quarry needs 11 diamonds to be made (8 for gears and 3 for the pickaxe/drill), while the World Anchor only needs 2.
To see what area the World Anchor keeps loaded, press the Railcraft Anchor Aura key (in Controls; defaults to F9) and purple lines will denote the area that the World Anchor keeps loaded. To remove the lines, press the key again.
The recipe might be diffrent depending on what modpack you use. For example in FTB mindcrack diamonds, gold, obsidian and a enderpearl