The weekend of the 26th of February I managed to get the lower switchback turnout switch ballasted and connected to the switchback. It took 2 carloads of ballast to get it to this point. It still requires additional ballasting, especially the switch itself. The switch will be leveled and the switchback track above adjusted to this and tamped down hard.
(Click any image to see full sized)
Ten feet of new track was added to make the connection.
The switch is now aligned to what will be Bridge 2B. Some smaller trees will have to be removed. Luckily many seem to have been dead for a couple years at least.
The retaining wall at Oak Falls for the switch has grown and will be extended to Bridge 2B's abutment. The retaining wall will also continue a little ways on the other side of the large hickory tree with the surveying rod (white pole) leaning on it. That's an 8' tall rod, by the way.
The switchback from across the creek showing more of the grade. This angle is so deceptive where the lower switchback switch is since it actually angles back up the hill. Bridge 2B will pass over the creek about where the tree is in the center and pass above the other larger tree on the left to enter the basin where it reverses direction to cross back over well below these tracks.