Yes it will be interesting to see which operators lease these units and what they end up being used on .
I don't have a clue about the arrangements re leasing locomotives but if CFCL are flexible they could turn up on anything .
The software in NRs can't be that high tech by todays standards but the notch limiting is very effective at saving fuel in the right circumstances . I worked a Perth train back to Sydney recently and on the Goulburn Sydney leg used ~ 400L less than the given fuel target . The reason it works with long higher speed rated trains trains is that they need the extra units and power to drag their loads up the grades but they don't need all the power all the time . Out of Goulburn you don't need 16000 Hp to get 1700+ meters and 33000 - 4000+ tonnes up to 90-100 Km/h and often two of them and 8000 Hp works well enough , in fact you can generally "cruise" at around 90 from just north of Murrays Flats to Towrang with just one in 8 notch . Start putting them back on line for the climb up the dippers etc etc . Having 16000 Hp on line uses noticably more fuel running around in 2-4 notch because diesel engines are not very thermally efficient when lightly loaded . One or two running flat out stays hot and burns cleaner and it forces the driver to use his/her skills and route knowledge to maintain the schedules . Climbing grades like out of Fish Fiver on the up is really a case of how "fast" you need to go to run the table and dialing up enough horsepower to achieve that - meaning part all all of whats available .
At times we know there will be standing time ahead for whatever reason and getting to that point quickly achieves nothing . Better IMO to put engines offline which slows you down but burns less fuel to get you there . Following slower trains and passing through speed restricted areas are good examples of when to do it . Train management also comes into it and its always going to be easier on the drawbars notching up one or two engines than three or four . One certainly drags the slack out of a long train more smoothly on level ground from stationary than four will . Multiply the drawbar pulling forces by four everytime you notch up four locos . Low speed control on lengthy trains is easier with fewer or just one powering , examples could be coupling rakes together to make up long trains or shunting them into roads under cranes etc when cutting them up .
It was always possible to isolate each unit by turning off its engine control switch (ECS) in the cab buts its not always convenient to pull up and reset them , so ways were found with software and pushing a few key pads from the drivers seat to select things on the fly .
I'm not sure if there is any benefit in this for bulk trains that run empty one way and loaded the other , I don't work them so don't know if they can shut down or isolate excess power and use it on the loaded legs .
Out of curiosity how much slower would a run back to say Ulan be using two of the three 90/92/TTs etc on a bat wing train out of Kooragang or Pt Waratah ?