In the early 1980s, the Federal Council and Parliament abandon plans for a flat line through the Alps. Enter economist Hans-Jörg Bertschi: his 700-page dissertation submitted to the University of St. Gallen in 1985 and entitled «Der alpenquerende Verkehr. Dargestellt am Ausbau einer neuen Eisenbahntransversale durch die Schweiz» («Transport through the Alps. Illustrated through the Development of a New Rail Line Across Switzerland») sets out why a new Alpine railway is needed. The dissertation attracts considerable public attention and puts the topic of a rail link through the Alps firmly back on the political agenda. Its author is invited to take part in planning for the NRLA on a number of occasions, and makes high-profile media appearances to present his findings. Bertschi's work jump-starts implementation of the NRLA. He remains committed to the project and later becomes President of the Board of Hupac, one of the leading companies in north-south rail transport.
« The results of this investigation show that, from the European perspective, a new base line has significant macroeconomic advantages compared with a null solution. »Hans-Jörg Bertschi, Abridged version for the Council of Europe, p. 15, 01.01.1986