Financing for the NRLA comes from the Railway Infrastructure Funds (BIF), which replaced the temporary Fund for Major Railway Projects (FinTP Fund).
The FinTP Fund was created in 1998 to finance the NRLA and three further large-scale rail projects. It was funded by the Heavy Goods Vehicle Charge (HGVC), VAT and fuel tax. After considerable political wrangling over NRLA finance, the FinTP Fund provided vital financial stability for the construction of the NRLA:
- It ensure funding for the whole project before work even commenced. Unlike the situation regarding upgrade projects in other countries, there was no uncertainty over the availability of further credit instalments.
- The HGVC was not only the main funding source for the NRLA. It also provided a fairer framework between road and rail by recognising the uncovered cost of road freight transport and establishing its true cost.
The Rail Infrastructure Fund (BIF) is not time-limited and has additional sources of finance (federal and cantonal contributions, a ceiling on commuter tax deductions for federal taxation) and is not burdened with rising train path prices. Moreover, it finances much more than just large-scale projects such as the NRLA – it also covers the entire rail infrastructure (including running and maintenance costs).