Construction of the NRLA is officially deemed to begin with the first blasting for the Lötschberg Base Tunnel on 5 July 1999. The first blasting at the Gotthard takes place on 4 November 1999. These dates are important for politicians and the general public, who follow construction of the new tunnel with great interest; but exploratory borings had already been carried out at both locations as far back as 1993. These in turn have their origins in the project planning from the mid-1980s.
« AlpTransit Gotthard is the construction project of the century. »AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd, Rail technology dossier, 1999 version, 05.07.1999