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In the most recent (March 2021)TCA Headquarters News p.20, NETCA is advertising a Lionel painted by RGS tank car-" Puffin Refinery  Seasport, Maine". Having spent part of my early life in northern Maine ( 30 some miles north of Millinocket on the east branch of the Penobscot river), I am a bit acquainted with Searsport-it has a rich matitime history-and it does have some kind of an oil terminal ( ? Irving or owned by a foreign company, Sprague). But I am unable to identify a present or past refinery there named the Puffin Refinery. Can anyone with a better Maine knowledge base help? Thanks in advance-turtle7

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Unless Puffins are refining fish oil, I suspect it's a red herring.  Perhaps a NETCA member could enlighten us.  I recall the sugar beet refinery but that was north of Millinocket - a long way from Searsport.  I'll search through photos I took from my dad's Beechcraft while flying down the Penobscot but I don't remember anything but oil tanks in Searsport.

Sent a message out to the NETCA board of directors to get the story on this and will report what I learn.

If anyone wants to check out the tank car, see the NETCA Commemorative car section on the web site. Or you can review all the past commemorative cars NETCA produced going back to 1968, Click the image thumbnails under each section for larger photos.

Meanwhile, here is a photo of the next car in the series.



Images (1)
  • PuffinReefer-2400x1200


The Puffin company/road name is fictitious. It was conceived to pay homage to the bird, the conservation efforts, all while following the time-tested words of Joshua Lionel Cowen - "Color sells".

What Is a Puffin?
They are small creatures that resemble penguins. Puffins don black beaks with orange streaks, black heads, and white bellies.For those who don’t already know, puffins are one of Maine’s most threatened species. This striking bird makes its home on Eastern Egg Rock, just a few miles off the coast. The northern birds live in colonies, and the one that inhabits Maine is the southernmost colony in the world! Puffins are typically found in places like Iceland and Norway, so this colony is a real treat for wildlife enthusiasts.

So there's your story to tell when your guests ask about the cars on your layout!

For all of the NETCA Commemorative cars, they are meant to be a way to share our love of the hobby, offer some unique road names, and help finance our local operations for putting together meets and conventions.


The location of Eastern Egg Rock, for the next time you head "down east"



Images (2)
  • PuffinTank-1
  • EasternEggRock_02
Last edited by Timothy Sprague

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