The first detailed construction project for a Gotthard Base Tunnel is drawn up in the first half of the 1970s. Its aim is to increase goods transport capacity. In 1971 the Federal Council instructs the SBB to develop a project based on the report of the rail tunnel commission; construction is scheduled to begin in 1975. The economic crisis and the resulting decline in goods traffic lead to the project being halted. It is also blocked by western and eastern Switzerland, citing the eastern Alps line undertaking of 1878, which provides for a north-south link in the east of the country.
« On a long-term view, the realisation of an Alpine transport concept is also desirable from a military perspective. »Major General Borel, Head of the General Staff, Letter to the Federal Office of Transport, 05.09.1973