Mystery of railway station esperanza/navajo joe

(pedro james) #41

Thank you for your input into the mystery of ESPERANZA STATION… My friend Ray Watts has spent hours on the mystery as well… From Rays research on the trains in many spaghetti westerns here in the Guadix area indicates ( 100 km radius) that the trains we,re local to the Granada/Almeria provinces… A lot of the train numbers in the films/location have been traced to being local… Once again thank you for your input. Pedro


A (slightly relatively tilted) foto taken from near the railway a kilometer before Piñar station, and a foto from the movie with the locomotive on the railway (slightly more far away from the background mountains) on its way to ESPERANZA station. The building could be of newer date.
The mountains in this case at least match better than in the classic movie view shot from station.
On both locations the flatlands look rather similar.


There is another rather good match in a different scene with 3 bandits chasing a wagon.

I thought before when we travelled to the area that this scene could be from the area more close to Bogarre, but I found no really good match there.

Now looking instead along the road from Piñar station to Piñar village you find this rather good match on Google 3D view. Had we gone just a little bit more up the road we might have taken a photo.,-3.4288481,79a,35y,39.59h,78.43t/data=!3m1!1e3

As stated earlier there is a similar good match in a different shot with another hill rather close, northeast of, Piñar station.

So it seems at least very likely that they were filming in the actual area…

Even the dirt road could be matching.


Regarding the movie shot in the previous forum message, I find it interesting that there is a completely other but still rather good match in the Colmenar Viejo area.,-3.7398883,130a,35y,39.53h,78.46t/data=!3m1!1e3

In that area there are more stones/small rocks in the terrain, which also were seen in the movie in the mentioned chasing scenes. So in that respect it fits better or more easy than the surroundings of Piñar station.
But the other hill match near Piñar station I have not so far found near Colmenar Viejo.

There is a Colmenar Viejo railway station and even with the tracks in one direction going to the left as in Esperanza. There are more tracks though, and the hilly even background lacks more or less. But on the other hand there is a flat green landscape on the side of the station where the landcape behind the Esperanza station also was rather green and flat. The distance by train is much closer to its stated position in Delicias, Madrid

Another shot from the movie where the chased wagon had a distant background of snowy or cloudy mountains is difficult to identify, as there could be a match either with the mountains north of Sierra Nevada or those northeast of Colmenar Viejo. If it is snow in this shot, then it could have been taken BEFORE the 040-2169 locomotive was moved to Guadix (in May or June 1966 according to one source). And maybe the train scene at ESPERANZA also was filmed before that, but also in this case it seems necessary that the hilly background was a manipulated effort. In general there are a lot of buildings and roads near the Colmenar Viejo railway station know, and I doubt that all were gone in 1966.


The match in Colmenar Viejo is striking.,+Madrid/@40.7066196,-3.7376876,123a,35y,42.27h,78.46t/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0xd417ddb04a9dbab:0x90343d10f0f7d020!8m2!3d40.6626481!4d-3.7710457
It only seems to be a significant difference in the hills to the left. But if I zoom in on Google Maps 3D on the left I can see 2 “bumps” that correspond well to the photo from the movie, due to the different angles. Therefore I must conclude that the riding/chasing scenes with a possibly even higher probability could be designated to Colmenar Viejo area than the corresponding probability for the Piñar area.
A comment might be that there may be such a high probability due to laws of physics for certain hill/mountain formations to be more usual than others and therefore might mislead in the look for certain locations.

Overall this also reduces the probability för Piñar station to be the location of the ESPERANZA station, all things equal. It is stated that there were some filming in Colmenar Viejo but not regarding railway scenes. And I still find Piñar more likely than Colmenar Viejo in that respect.

The clue regarding the 8 nodes (4 vertical pairs) on telegraph poles near ESPERANZA is one that could reduce the uncertainty of the location, especially if it matches only one special candidate. I have seen just a few rare pictures of similar configurated poles, but both in Almeria and northern Spain.

The mystery is still there :slight_smile:


Another spaghetti-western from 1966 which not is stated as having been shot in Almeria, but for example in Colmenar Viejo obviously has the same mountain/hill as in the shot with Navajo Joe riding in the last post.

So you could conclude that the chasing/riding/wagon scenes, not directely linked to the station, to some extent - up to even all of them, were shot near Comenar Viejo, where also the stony/rocky ground as well as in the movie supports that.

However, the following key scene when the wagon reaches the backside of the ESPERANZA Station house has no definite proven geographical connection with the countryside shots.
My belief is that the scene with the train arriving to ESPERANZA more likely was shot in a warmer climate than for example the scene before that in the movie with the wagon with snowy mountains in the background.


I “travelled” with GoogleMaps along the many Cercanias railways, and some of their extensions, around Madrid, but found no reasonable candidate för ESPERANZA, and the mentioned Colmenar Viejo station seems to be the least bad example in that area.
In the Malaga province there seems to be no good candidate either.


I looked a bit around some railways outside Rome but the topography regarding the hills/mountains I found does not fit, and that area seems to be rather flat or without the wanted type of hills. Near Torremocha, Spain where som scenes were shot I found no relevant candidates, nor near Uceda, Guadalajara or Torremocha, Caceres.

Regarding the ESPERANZA station background hills they seem suspiciously even in the classic view from the station looking out at the arriving locomotive, compared to nearly every hill/mountain area I remember have seen in Spain. But the hills/mountains you see behind Navajo Joe when he is shot inside the locomotive supposed to be approaching the station are more natural, and as pictures in a former forum post show, they might match the mountains seen from Bogarre and Piñar station even if the height seems to differ.

(pedro james) #49

Once again thank you for so much time which is involved in research… So many if,s n am,s n pots n pans… This mystery really does test our brain cells… Sorry but with so much work commitments at the moment i cannot get to continue with my leads with local knowledge maybe lol… Ive un-turned most stones here but never going to throw the towel in… Another idea i have is to go to the hogar pensionista for the retired in PINAR and see if anyone very old lol remembers anything… But to date i need to finish some contract work or lose my employment… I,m 99.9 % its nothing to do with Italy… We live here and i have doubts about some scenes when JOE is in the train… We do live in desert terrain and the grass appears too green for here … I guess that these scenes are in Colmenar Viejo area… BUT with a capital"" B" The train coming into ESPERANZA looks exactly like where we live near to Guadix ( The Terrain)… The Smaller train scene with cowboys on front of the train and snow in the backdrop i really think is on the single track line with sierra de Baza or Sierra de Nevada… Again though when holidaying in Colmenar area years ago there was snow on the mountains in May/June… The Sandstone terrain though points to Railway route very close to Guadix… Maybe a Halloween spook can throw us a clue… Good luck and will continue research ASAP from our end… If your near Guadix next year you can have our holiday annexe for free… really good for location hunters or trips to western theme parks an hour away and locations here from Spaghetti westerns… Our invitations go out to other location hunters and those who want MINI HOLLYWOOD,WESTERN LEONE,FORT BRAVO EN ALMERIA… just email us and we maybe able to help…


To interview the Piñar pensionistas is worth trying.
The short scene with snow in the background of the locomotive with the bandits I found in an earlier post to be shot around 7 km from Guadix on the abandoned line Guadix - Baza, and about 178 km from Lorca and you can see a sign on the side of the track in the movie scene which have the numbers 178 (and also 280).
So we know they filmed on both sides of Guadix, and it seems unlikely that the locomotive in the classic scene arriving to ESPERANZA was the 140-2169 IF the scene was shot in an other part of the WORLD that is long way from Guadix and not reachable by train within a reasonable time.

I still for the record emphasise the importance of the telegraph poles near the station with the rather unusual configuration of the hubs (4 vertical pairs). There must, I hope, be some experts and/or records which know/declare where such poles were used within some 200 kilometers or so from Guadix along railroads.

And thank you, pedro_james for your kind offer for location hunters.


Another approach I have tried a short while ago is to search more or less every movie/video on Youtube with railways in spaghettiwesterns or in general, but at least in spaghettiwesterns you seldom get a scene shot outside the usual Almeria - La Calahorra-Guadix - Baza etc. But I may have missed a clue here and there due to the abundance of material.


A little new detail angle : When the blond brother of the head bandit has entered the locomotive at ESPERANZA station looking for the money he in one shot has the ground as background and he must be facing the station building due to the direction of the locomotive.
So why is the ground so smooth (just with thin several parallel lines but the latter could theoretically be shadows from the 8 lines per telegraph poles but the position of the sun should rule that out) ?
The ground should have some railway tracks visible if the movie makers do not use some “trick” here. Even if it was wide between the two railway tracks, I don’t think it was THAT wide.

At the Piñar station platform my wife photograped this

Moreda station is around 11 kilometers from Piñar station (and Ignalloz around 12 km away) but 5 kilometers is the distance to Bogarre which has no railway station now, but it had one in 1960 according to

It is the same type of sign that you can see twice in the scene with the locomotive and snowy mountains in the background with numbers 48 over 6 and 280 over 178, thus probably confirming that that scene was shot some 6-7 km from Guadix in direction to Baza (which also the 5 hubs on the telegraph poles support).
The number 48 must be the distance from Baza to the actual location.


I had not seen before this photo of Piñar from 1988 posted by pacheco in forotrenes.

It shows that there was another building to the left (just north of the railway) rather near the station with rather little trace of it now, and it also shows the at that time existing telegraph poles and their configuration. But that doesn’t say too much about their configuration back in 1966.
That building probably should have been observed in the scene where the train leaves ESPERANZA in the movie if it was built in or before 1966, but of course it could have been built later before its obvious removal some time after 1988. However it looked very old 1988…
So these observations do not specifically support Piñar, but neither the contrary I believe.

This foto from 1959 from Iznalloz
shows another telegraph pole configuration which in the numbers, that is 8 lines/hubs, could be a relevant clue supporting the 8 lines (but in another configuration) at Piñar station.


There is a railway scene in
Long Days Of Vengeance.
According to IMDb filming locations were
PC Balcazar Studios, Madrid
Torrecilla de Valmadrid, Zaragoza, Aragón

Not related to ESPERANZA probably except for a possible new mystery ? :slight_smile:


So that was from Torrecilla de Valmadrid station (according to a statement on forotrenes) on the 1966 abandoned Utrillas - Zaragoza .
The abandoned lines in Spain are a bit difficult to find on Google Maps, but it seems less likely that the actual 040-2169 locomotive was filmed a long long way from Guadix, even if that do not rule out that long distance shots of the train arriving to ESPERANZA theoretically might be another train from another place. But you can see the background, the railway and part of the station building in continuos shots so in that respect everything, including the locomotive, seem to be filmed on the same location.


I just stumbled on a French website about many spaghetti-westerns and there is a page about Navajo Joe.
This picture is somewhat interesting since it shows that the scene whith the cutting of wires on a telegraph pole was not shot near La Calahorra station (or Guadix) where most related railway scenes were shot.
I haven’t my DVD here but and I know that I previously noticed from the configuration that it couldn’t be a telegraph pole from La Calahorra - Alquife line, but I can’t remember now that the scene in the movie actually included this green and stony backround landscape on the picure below which more resembles for example the Colmenar Viejo area or other areas around Madrid.

However it does not say much more than that this particular “railway related” scene was shot a long long way from the Guadix-Granada and Guadix-Lorca lines.

(pedro james) #57

Nice bit of research… I would not put my life on it but after visiting Colmenar Viejo a few weeks ago i would say that film location is in that area for sure… Still not had time because of work commitments to go to PINAR pensionista or communicate with another lead… Pedro


Another investigation idea could be searching in the dossier/files of CB films.
The foto obiously was from that source and maybe they have more fotos or other related from the station.

Navajo Joe , dessins publicitaires, dossier de presse CB Films, Espagne, 1967.


Another picture from the French website.

To the far right (near Joe’s left arm) there is a tiny glimpse of the background landscape but in the movie I only remember seing rather green smooth cultivated grounds in this scene and no hills (and also not the high mountains/hills associated with Piñar) in the shots from the Esperanza station (except for the view along the railway tracks where the train arrived).

So is this a glimpse of a hill background or only cultivated grounds ? There seems to be two different shades of colour. If it is hills, why wasn´t they in the movie in this seen ?


Dear Runner … aren’t you driving yourself crazy! :rofl:

I love locations too - Keep on being crazy, amigo. :+1: