In the wide-open land west of Albuquerque the filmmakers built their own version of a Wild West town.
The production concentrated many of its activities at a humble locale along central New Mexico’s Río Puerco. Construction crews worked around the clock, building the clapboard town of Colby. They put up a bank, a ranch, a granary, a saloon, and a train station. Promontory Summit went up just around the corner.
Around the town, train crews laid five miles of track, all fully functional. The trains, built just for the film, were based on historical locomotives. The real Jupiter was built in Schenectady, New York, and was part of the Central Pacific Railroad before making its way to Promontory Summit for the driving of the Golden Spike. In the film, the Constitution meets the Jupiter, but a century and a half ago, a train called No. 119 met the actual Jupiter. The final locomotive was the Colby town train.
For additional train action, special-effects technicians and woodworkers put together “road rigs”—steel platforms on which they placed full train cars so that filmmakers could shoot inside and outside the train as mountains rolled by in the background. Pulled by semi-tractors, these rigs drove through the mountains near Angel Fire for days. The Enchanted Circle also saw the end of production in New Mexico—Depp and Verbinski’s band played the closing party at Angel Fire.