June 1989 sees the publication of a large-scale study on the objectives and models of an «NRLA project organisation» by the Institute for Construction Engineering and Management at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. The study analyses the best way to organise the construction of a major infrastructure project, and comes up with the «client-contractor-operator model» that separates infrastructure from operations. Accordingly AlpTransit Lötschberg Ltd and AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd, two companies that are legally separate from the BLS and SBB, are commissioned by the Confederation to build the NRLA, before handing it over for operation to their parent companies.
« Functions must be clearly separated in order to minimise the burden of business on Parliament and the Federal Council. »Elektrowatt Ingenieurunternehmung Ltd, Zurich, NRLA project organisation, objectives, models, assessment, p. 13-14, june 1989