Commuter passenger service presented unique challenges to the railroads that operated these trains. One of those challenges was keeping the lights on in the coaches. Long-distance passenger cars were equipped with battery banks and axle-driven generators to charge them. This scheme was not practical for commuter cars, as these generators did not run enough to keep the batteries charged. On the Jersey Central, GP7’s intended for commuter service came from EMD with steam generators for heat, and shaft –driven electrical generators for lighting. This auxiliary generator didn’t quite fit in a standard GP7 short hood, so squared-off extensions were appended to the long hood. Boston & Maine and Chicago & North Western received took delivery of similar units.
Here CNJ 1523 spends the weekend at the end of the active CNJ main line in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. Those semaphores have been unnecessary for two years, since the CNJ pulled out of Pennsylvania. The GP7 survives as part of the URHS collection.