Karachi W-11 Museum on Wheels Travel

“Karachi W11” has been preserved permanently to exhibit at a museum in Australian city, Melbourne. According to Melbourne Tram Museum, a historically important tram Z1 Class No 81 was due to retire in early 2006 after years carrying people to work, school and play.

It needed a major overhaul to continue travelling the streets of Melbourne for another decade of service but the cost of repairing the old tram was too high. The museum said: “As part of the cultural festival associated with the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, Global Art Projects brought five Pakistani artisans to Melbourne for a two-week period, to decorate Z1 81 in the same extravagant style as the mini-buses used on the W11 route in Karachi.’’

The tram was about to retire, its condition was rusty, old metal structure which served the people on the tracks of Melbourne since 1978. After 28 years, the Z Class Tram No 81 was due to retire in 2006. Mr.Ali was asked to bring life back in it. This whole project was supervised by Mr.Douglas. Who was later on invited by Mr.Ali to Pakistan and travel on the W11 mini bus in Karachi.

“I had never come across this level of excited investment in the decoration of a vehicle as the W11 mini-bus,” recalls Mr Douglas. The dilemma for these decorators was to design and comprehend intricate details that would go on the tram without having it physically present in Karachi.

The completion period of this tram was three months, and a 15-man team who worked day and night, to prepare the material in Karachi. Details such a Paint, Text, Steel, Lighting, interior, exterior and cushions. The title of this Karachi W-11 Tram was “Pyar Zindagi Hai” – Love is life.

Quotes such as Khush Amdeed, 13 Mera 7, Bazurgo ka Ahtaram Karen, Safar Khamoshi Se Karen, Seat’on per pa’on na rakhen,

During their journey, passengers were given a souvenir ticket which had traditional truck art poetry written on it.

To mimic what the conductors do in Karachi the W11 tram also had a conductor who belonged to The Connies, a performance troupe of tram conductors. “Performing tram conductors would jump out of the tram to call out the stops. Once everyone was inside they would bang the side of the tram and head back inside,” recalls Robert D’Andrea.

“People told us the first time we heard of Pakistan was winning the 1992 Cricket World-Cup and this is the second time we are hearing about Pakistan in such detail,”  says Mr Ali.The project was so successful that it went onto becoming the subject of Victorian Secondary school education program around cultural diversity.

Nudrat Iqhlaq

Nudrat Ikhlaq
There’re no laws f;or writing, there never have been, there never will be. I tweet as @nudrat_v and instablog @thenudrateffect.