There are certainly lots of rumors flying around here!
The facts are:
ALL the ALCOs are "well worn" to say the least!
NYSW isn't currently in the process of retiring the ALCOs.
Not all of the ALCOs have plus engines.
Only 3 units have computers in place of the blue face cards, including the OOS 3660 (ex 78). All others except 3668 (ex 47) have smaller computers controlling a limited number of functions in addition to a full set of blue cards.
The computers have had much of the French in them translated to English, but that isn't even half the battle. Troubleshooting is 200% easier, however!
The units still have standard govenor and fuel rack. No EFI for them.
The computers applied to the Cartier units are NOT specifically designed for use on a locomotive or any other specific application.
They are however a General Electric product (GE Fanuc to be exact) just NOT made by the GE tranportation Div.
There are three major classes, defined by their capacity / application: the 90-20, 90-30, and 90-70. 90-70s are installed in place of blue cards. 90-20 and 90-30 are applied in addition to blue face cards.
They are a standard industrial microprocessor (Programmable Logic Controller AKA "PLC") and can be applied or retrofitted to most any analog or digital system. They can control the heating system in your house, an electrical grid, a bottling plant, waste water treatment facility, heavy mining equipment, you name it.
These units operate on 24VDC so certain sensors and circuits were reconfigured to accept this new spec.
QCM added lots of difficult and redundant features that would shut the unit down, dump water, prevent loading, etc... if any "conditions" were experienced considered by the QCM people to warrant such action. The programs were written and applied in house by QCM people.
In addition, the system doesn't hold up very well under the HARSH loco conditons (on/off duity cycle, heat, cold, vibration, dirt).
If they were a genuine GE Trans product (super 7 or Bright Star) the elec. side would work great.
The Cartier took a computer system that they were already using on the mining equipment, etc... and tried it out on their locomotives. Frankly I think this was a well intentioned project gone a little too far by some folks with a little too much time on their hands.
I hope this clears up a few things!
BTW... not to give away too much, but there are some interesting things going on behind the scenes for one unit... keep your eyes peeled...