Have you ever assumed that for a file to be uploaded to a CFM page that it needs a CFFILE Action="upload" to "receive" the file? It does NOT. A CFM page will receive a file upload, whether that tag is there or not. The uploaded file will be put in a temp directory, at least until the end of the request.
What the CFFILE Action="upload" does is just move the uploaded file from a temp directory to your named DESTINATION (as well as validate its type, report the file name, protect against or allow overwrites, and more, if you use the attributes on the tag for those features).
Need proof? Want to learn more? Read on.
Just do an form file upload to a CFM page that has no CFFILE Action="upload". The file will still be uploaded, to a temp directory (from which CFFILE *would* move it). There's a trick, though. The temp file (literally with a .tmp extension) will be removed when the upload page processing is done. You need to pause the page long enough to watch the directory to see it uploaded. Fortunately, in CFMX and BD, that's easily done.
Here's a template that demonstrates it all (see the comments/explanation that would appear onscreen):
File will be uploaded to this directory: