Cable car over the IJ river? Amsterdam municipality is in favour

Have you ever dreamt of swinging over the IJ on a clear day as you look across the hip district of Amsterdam-Noord? Well, from 2026 that might be possible! 😱 The municipality of Amsterdam has taken a formal stance on the construction of a cable car over the IJ.

And what is that stance exactly? According to the initiator, Stichting IJbaan, the municipality “will actively cooperate” as they’ve entered a letter of intent with the IJbaan Foundation and the Transport Region.

The cable car is meant as a relief for the currently overstrained ferry routes between Amsterdam-Noord and West and can function in addition to the planned construction of two bridges.

New public transport connection

While there’s been some discussion about the cable car just being another tourist magnet, Wim Wessels and Bas Dekker from Stichting IJbaan tell Het Parool that it will be a crucial public transport connection between Noord and West. They say the cable car “could be crucial for the future Port-City district, where car use will be discouraged.” 🚴‍♀️

Functional by 2027

Wessels and Dekker explain that the advantage of a cable car is that the construction is much less intensive than that of a bridge.

So, while bridges over the IJ can still be constructed on either side of the cable car connection they wouldn’t be ready until 2040, whereas the cable car is expected to be functional already in 2026 or 2027. (Knowing Dutch construction estimates, make that 2030 😅).

Wessels and Dekker say that the cable car and bridges will function well together. “In addition to crossing the IJ, the cable car takes you across the Westhaven railway yard in one go to the metro in the direction of Sloterdijk and beyond.”

“Think of it as a solid tram connection”

The hope is that the cable car will be able to transport 35 people per cabin or — in Dutch words — 10 people and their bikes. Wessel and Dekker encourage people to think about the cable car as “a solid tram connection that could transport 100,000 people a day.”

The municipality of Amsterdam is not as optimistic but settles for an estimate of 4,500 travellers per day.

Private funding

“This costs the municipality absolutely nothing” assures Wessel and Dekker. The construction of the cable car is estimated to amount to around €120 million — a sum that will be covered by private funding as the letter of intent does not bind the municipality to any financial contributions.

However, “there is a lot of enthusiasm” for the new cable car and Wessel and Dekker are already in contact with financiers.

What do you think of the plans? Would you use a cable car between Amsterdam-Noord and West? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: Plompmozes (CGI) via UNStudio/Supplied*

*This is a design based on the 2018 route.

Christine Stein Hededam 🇩🇰
A Dane with a special place in her heart for Minnesota, Christine is now falling in love with everything Dutch. Between finishing her bachelor’s degree, learning Dutch, and doing yoga teacher training, you will find her wandering about the Hague. Always up for visiting new places, she loves to explore the Netherlands with friends and takes pride in scoping out cute cafés (wherein to discuss books, big plans, and food).

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