The Concept

The Tzigan is a railcar concept designed for the retail business industry. This new type of rolling stock would be financed by distributors and manufacturers and would allow smaller towns to benefit from specific high-end brands. It would also allow local stores and shops to expand their territories without having to invest millions of dollars in infrastructure.

The Background

Millions of people commute every month to go shopping in big cities. What if these brands came to visit their clients instead? Major brands could team up to create seasonal tours of the country. That’s what I had in mind when I created the Tzigan concept. As a bonus it could become a new way to finance the construction of new rail and reduce their overall cost.

How It Works

Each set of six (6) Tzigan would include an electric pushing wagon (similar to light rail transit systems) that would be designed to run smoothly and silently. The Tzigan would be built around a standard chassis, which would help keep the cost of development, tooling, and parts down. By using a standard frame, it would be possible sell the wagons from one customer to another, reducing each their cost significantly compared to custom-building units.

Instead of cities or states financing the trains, it would be retail brands. For example, a coffee company like Starbucks could team up with an apparel company like Adidas or an electronic superstore like Best Buy.

Tzigans would travel between towns and refill their inventory at night by stopping at automated warehouses. It would be possible to follow your favourite shop with an app and coordinate so you could visit the store while it’s in town. Adjustments would be made based on demand, and some wagons could even be rented by local companies interested in expanding their sales via the rail business.

The windows could be built using transparent Plexiglas, which is stronger than regular glass, better suited for transport, and less at risk of breaking. Inside each wagon, interior designers would install any type of flooring, colours, wall textures, furniture, etc. One wagon could even be used as a sleeper car for the store’s personnel.

What It’s Used For

With the Tzigan, franchisees would have the possibility of travelling to many communities across the country to offer their products and services and develop new markets. These new kinds of mobile shops would be designed exclusively for travelling sales teams, who would start living on the rail networks of the world. This concept could revive a very old way of doing business while reducing the commute of shoppers coming from the country to larger cities. It would also allow smaller business to expand their regional presence.


The Tzigan concept was developed in September 2017 by Charles Bombardier in collaboration with Clarck McCune, an Industrial Designer from Dallas, Texas, USA. Clark holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tulsa and currently works as a design director. He also designed the Cefalo stretching car concept for Imaginactive.