After some additional work, I decided to raise the lower switch and move it an additional 10 feet to the north so it will align with a bridge I decided to add to cross the creek. The problem is that the creek falls quickly in this area and the new end of the track would be near the creek - 24" higher than the switch just 50 feet farther up. That's a 4% grade. So I decided to raise this switch 12" (although I might go one course of wall stones higher to 16".) This reduces the grade above but will mean the switchback will need to be raised 100' as I will be cutting the grade down by 1%.
One advantage of changing the switchback's grade is raising the carbarn switch so it aligns nicely with the car barn tracks.
The reason for the bridge is that it was found to be too hard to go down the hill on the west side due to trees and the necessity of a sharp curve below the switchback's upper tail track. By crossing over, we can use the natural basin on the other side to skirt around and then cross back over on another bridge. This basin does have a fairly sizable side creek in it so it will need a short bridge in there as well - probably 10 feet in length with a single bridge pier in the middle. Then ends will just set on abutments.
Bridge 2A, the one closest to the switchback should be nearly straight and be around 40' long. The 10' bridge mentioned above is Bridge 2B and then to cross back over the creek, Bridge 2C will be a longer bridge, curved on the east end and could be around 6 to 8 feet in height, but that has to be surveyed. It will be around 60 to 80 feet in length.
Coming off Bridge 2C, the tracks will when pass below the upper switchback tail track about 25' down the hill from the current end of the track. It will then curve around to the left across 3 short bridges which crosses 3 side creeks which converge in the middle of the basin it will skirt around. Once around the curve, the tracks should be near the hill top below which is a long, low hill which will provide an easy grade down to the bottom of the property.
Once the track crosses over at the bottom of the property and heads back up this other side, it will ultimately meet up with this new loop so trains will return to Telluride through the switchback to have the locomotive turned, run around the train and head back down.
Photos will be provided later.
Once the switchback, switch and tail track are in place and ballasted, the plans are to begin work on the engine house / car barn. After this building is built, I will continue to build on the railroad.
I know I have offers for help but I really need to just plan on me being the only one building the railroad so the schedule is dependant upon my being able to work on it and afford the materials needed.