The tram was themed after the iconic ‘Karachi W11’ in 2006 before becoming a exhibit
Pakistani truck art is famous all over the world for its elaborate floral patterns and calligraphy adorned over trucks with poetry. Australians loved Karachi W11 themed tram, so much that it became a permanent exhibit in a museum.
While truck art is mostly used on trucks in Pakistan, some of the old buses running in various cities are also adorned in this type of art.
When you think of a bus with truck art, the famous ‘Karachi W11’ bus comes to mind. These buses have been seen on the roads of Karachi for as long as you can remember and have literally become a Pakistani icon.
In 2006, a historically important tram ‘Z1 Class No 81’ in Australia was due to retire after serving the people for many years.The Australians wanted to repair the tram but the cost of repairing this old and damaged tram was so high that it was decided to do something else with it.
As part of the cultural festival associated with the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, at least five Pakistanis artisans were brought to the country to style the tram after the iconic ‘Karachi W11’.
Australians loved Karachi W11 themed tram
The Z1 81 tram was then adorned with the famous truck art style using fluorescent hand cut sticker collages, flashing lights, tassels, and stainless steel paneling.
The tram became an instant hit amongst the people who were present in Melbourne for the Commonwealth Games. After the games, the Z1 81 was returned to storage only to be brought back for limited service due to its popularity.
After a short-lived life on the tracks, the Tram was returned to the storage where it remained for years to come until it was finally placed into the collection of the Melbourne Tram Museum in 2015.
Now the tram has become a permanent addition to the exhibition because of how much people love it.