After 15 years of development, Amsterdam’s long-awaited North-South metro line opened to the public on Saturday, July 21st. The new line runs between several previously unconnected destinations and cuts down travel time by passing beneath the river IJ.
As its name suggests, the metro line begins (or ends) in Amsterdam-Noord, an area that is separated from the rest of the city by the river IJ, then travels eight kilometres southwards, stopping at six other locations, before terminating at Station Zuid. This journey takes approximately 15 minutes, allowing travellers to reach opposite ends of the city in considerably less time than previously possible.
The service links several neighbourhoods that weren’t directly connected by public transport beforehand, making it possible for travellers to move through the inner city and onto its peripheries in virtually no time at all. For instance, after hopping on the metro at Noorderpark in Amsterdam-Noord, travellers can reach the city’s trendy De Pijp neighbourhood in approximately eight minutes – whereas, before the line’s completion, the same journey would have taken at least half an hour by tram and ferry. Other stops on the line include the city’s biggest railway hub Centraal Station and one of its busiest shopping streets Rokin, which stands close to Dam Square.
Construction began on the line in 2002, with its completion slated for 2011. Unfortunately, though, the project experienced several delays over the years, mainly due to problems related to tunnelling underneath Amsterdam’s waterlogged centre, and its completion date was eventually pushed back to 2018. On Saturday, July 21st, Amsterdam’s newly appointed mayor Femke Halsema officially opened the line and rode the metro underneath the river IJ alongside other passengers. The day after the ceremony, the metro began its regular service, concluding 15 years of development and marking a new period of transportation in Amsterdam.