1998 saw the agreement for financing the NRLA and three further large-scale rail projects though the FinöV Fund. This was provided for by the Heavy Goods Vehicle Charge (HGVC), VAT and fuel tax. After considerable political wrangling over NRLA finance, the FinöV Fund made the breakthrough with its vital financial stability. It facilitated the NRLA and further large-scale rail projects in two ways:
It secured finance to complete the work before building 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 led to creating a fairer framework between road and rail by recognising the uncovered cost of road freight transport and establishing its true cost.
At the start of 2016 the restricted FinöV Fund was replaced by the Rail Infrastructure Fund, which is not time-limited. This benefits from additional sources of finance (federal and cantonal contributions, a ceiling on commuter tax deductions) and is not burdened with rising train path prices. The Rail Infrastructure Fund pays for much more than just large-scale projects such as the NRLA – it also covers the entire rail infrastructure (including running and maintenance costs).