The Melba 2011 is a conceptual design for a "next generation" Melbourne tram. Designed by outfit CobaltNiche in three weeks, it's meant to give the W-Class tram a modern facelift and prepare us for a future where we can only hope riding them is reasonably affordable.
"Trams are to Melbourne like the Opera House is to Sydney and it’d be unimaginable that the design of icons such as these would be left to chance," says CobaltNiche's design group leader Jack Magree. The concept is influenced by public transport in the likes of Vienna and Amsterdam. As with the newer-model trams flying about Melbourne, the Mebla 2011 would feature low floors and electronic route displays. The most glaring difference is the massive headlight on the front, so if you don't notice the ding-ding of the tram's warning bell, you'll be blinded by this lamp instead.
I'm a fan of the colour green, but the shade here seems a little bold for my tastes. It's sleek and would definitely look great cruising down Swanston, but I don't think it's the future of trams. To be honest, I'd be happy if they used the prototyping cash to simply maintain the current fleet and reduce fare prices (for those of us that pay).
Fortunately, it's just a concept for now — there are no plans to build these things and whack them about town. What do do you guys think?