At the start of October 1991 the National Council swiftly follows the Council of States in voting 118 to 18 in favour of constructing the NRLA. Its arguments are based on regional and environmental concerns, and emphasise the European aspect of the project that feeds into the negotiations with the European Economic Community. It also wants to support goods transport and create a high-capacity passenger transport link. The federalist motivation of linking together eastern and western Switzerland ties the proposal closely to the Rail 2000 project. Three committees call for a referendum on the parliamentary decision, citing financial and environmental policy concerns.
« Switzerland's goal is for the EC to acknowledge rail transport, and in particular combined transport, as the only possible solution to the transit problem over the short, medium and long terms, having regard to our country's special topography and environmental policy. »Council of States Control Committee report on international relations of the Federal Office of Transport, 31.08.1990