In a series of observing system simulations, we test whether the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) can be observed based on the existing Line W deep western boundary array. We simulate a Line W array, which is extended to the surface and to the east to cover the basin to the Bermuda Rise. In the analyzed ocean circulation model ORCA025, such an extended Line W array captures the main characteristics of the western boundary current. Potential trans-basin observing systems for the AMOC are tested by combining the extended Line W array with a mid-ocean transport estimate obtained from thermal wind "measurements" and Ekman transport to the total AMOC (similarly to Hirschi et al., Geophys Res Lett 30(7):1413, 2003). First, we close Line W zonally supplementing the western boundary array with several "moorings" in the basin (Line W-32A degrees N). Second, we supplement the western boundary array with a combination of observations at Bermuda and the eastern part of the RAPID array at 26A degrees N (Line W-B-RAPID). Both, a small number of density profiles across the basin and also only sampling the eastern and western boundary, capture the variability of the AMOC at Line W-32A degrees N and Line W-B-RAPID. In the analyzed model, the AMOC variability at both Line W-32A degrees N and Line W-B-RAPID is dominated by the western boundary current variability. Away from the western boundary, the mid-ocean transport (east of Bermuda) shows no significant relation between the two Line W-based sections and 26A degrees N. Hence, a Line W-based AMOC estimate could yield an estimate of the meridional transport that is independent of the 26A degrees N RAPID estimate. The model-based observing system simulations presented here provide support for the use of Line W as a cornerstone for a trans-basin AMOC observing system.