One of the key tasks of the NRLA is to reinforce the goods transport corridor between the North Sea and the Mediterranean. However, capacity on the north-south rail link will only increase to the necessary extent if Germany and Italy expand their routes, modernising the Rotterdam-Genoa axis. The Federal Council begins negotiating with Switzerland's neighbours while the NRLA is still at the project planning stage. In 1995 it concludes an agreement with Germany on German approach routes. Expansion of the network across Europe is under way.
« In passenger transport, we must make sure that Switzerland is connected to the European high-speed network. »Willy Loretan, Debate in the Council of States on 16 December 1997