Hot Spot: Argo


Producer: Midwest Video Productions/ Highball

Timeframe: 1995-1997

Locations: Bedford Park, Argo Yard, Argo Crossing.  Elkhart, South Bend, LaPorte, IN.

Length: 83 minutes

MVP pulled the wool over buyer’s eyes here. Hot Spot: Argo, my foot! The show meanders, all over the place. Filler in front and behind.

This is exactly what drives buyers away, from train videos. Does not deliver on the advertised. Substandard viewing. Issue this junk. Then they whine… Where are the sales?


Where’s Argo? I did not see: Elkhart, South Bend or LaPorte, Indiana in the title. Nothing personal against Indiana.

This show was supposed to be about Hot Spot: Argo. That constitutes, Argo Yard and Argo Crossing. These locations are in Summit, Illinois. A specific targeted area. Inherent, are certain railroads and type of action, at those locations. I paid for THAT.


Alternative. Look I get bunch of time filler… Not enough Argo in the can. Obviously.

What ripoff! No problem. Hose’em down.


We begin at a CSX ramp. This is listed. Feels like filler. This is Bedford Park. A little portion would pass. However, it does takes quite a while, to move away from this ramp. Twenty minutes. That is a big chunk.


Sure. The vintage Belt locos are too cool. Perhaps, the best of show. Off topic, like much of the program. Proves my point actually.

No Chapter Menu, by the way.

Bedford Park CSX ramp. Runs excessive, considering the topic. Again, this is not the Hot Spot: Argo!


Finally. We move. A map. He doesn’t bother to display the CSX ramp. Where we were stalled for so long. Does a good explanation of Indiana Harbor Belt and B&OCTRR, now CSX, trackage mapping. Ownership of IHB.

Which brings us to video quality…


Throwback, would be a kind word. This appears one step above, a 1980’s era shot set of tapes. It is rough end to end.



Hard to watch. Lighting, colors, grain. He mentions some video lines! That is the least of the problems. UGLY!

Post production work may have been able to improve some of this. There is a general murkiness to much of the background. Auto-focus issues perhaps.

Narration offers plenty of train information. Train designation. Even where the trains are going. Including long haul destinations. Crew changes.

Audio is fine. Narration and live audio. No complaints.


Argo Crossing. Used to be the GM&O line it crossed. Later on, that was Illinois Central Gulf into Illinois Central etc..

The steel truss bridge, crosses a canal in the background. At this point, the tower  is in the process of demolition.


Argo Yard is eventually acheived by the film crew. Nearly 28 minutes to arrive here! Too long, for the title and main feature.


Argo Yard is a rather small one. Especially in the Chicago area. It is next to a humongous, Corn Products (CPC) plant. That has rail service. Surprisingly, this is not mentioned. Neither is the stench.


Busy place. The 910 assignment switches the yard. Back and forth…


Argo is a crew change point.

vlcsnap-2019-02-01-10h14m24s013A Willow Springs bound power set passes by the camera.

vlcsnap-2019-02-01-10h30m19s850CN-GT power, with a Proviso to Blue Island transfer, via the IHB trackage. One never knows what will come down the tracks.


A former CNW GP15 is now in Union Pacific colors. It is entering Argo Yard.


Additional crew change. This BNSF train will travel to McCook Crossing. Not far.

Timing this at 54 minutes. That is all folks? Out of Argo already! Are you kidding?


Control point 466 at (who cares) Indiana. He mumbled it…


However, by the time we are transported to Indiana. No map. All geographical orientation, goes out the window. Save for the location screens. Useless, sans a map.


Now, it is just an extended series of mindless runbys. Conrail action now, for the majority. A lack of being centered this round. Standing trackside in the middle of where? Makes all the difference…

(This deception, is about the equivalent of purchasing a show titled ‘Horseshoe Curve’ and spending more time, at alternate locations.

One would not expect to be spending significant time, trackside on a single CSX line, out in Ohio. Off topic, for a Horseshoe Curve titled show).

Same garbage here. How does Indiana relate to Hot Spot: Argo? Does not fit.



Yet I myself digress. Back to our review. Back to Indiana. Back to the wasted money! Still stuck with a rather abysmal visual, as well. This isn’t much fun. Is it over yet??


On to Conrail’s Elkhart Yard. Still murky. Yawn.


Where’s Argo?

Only 27 minutes @ Argo… Insulting!

There is nothing in this show, that you can’t find, in better quality elsewhere.

Wanted to sit back and enjoy the show. Ended up with this loser! One and done.

Argo… Not hardly. A Loser. Pass…


Rating : 1 Star



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s