Train Playground in Bordeaux, France

Historic site brought to life by new tailormade play sculpture

Historic site brought to life by new tailormade play sculpture

The old train station of Saint-Médard-en-Jalles opened in 1886 and has just received its first new train in more than 40 years. It closed in 1978, but today it has been turned into a multigenerational activity space made up by three playgrounds for children, sports facilities for adults and a restaurant.

The main attraction for children visiting the area is the unique 7-meter-long wooden play locomotive, specially created by KOMPAN Design Studio. This great steam train appeals to the spirit of adventure and can take the children on imaginary journeys. It is loaded with fun and fantasy play activities, and at the same time it refers to the historical past of the city, being installed right next to the original retired train from 1886. 

Together the two trains are telling the story of the industrial revolution and the construction of major infrastructures. The play sculpture is made of Robinia hardwood, which is strong and particularly durable.


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Toot toot! Next stop: Adventure!

Toot toot! Next stop: Adventure!

The 7-meter-long train is filled with challenging and entertaining play activities for big and small children from the age of four. Besides classical elements such as climbing nets and walls, a fireman’s pole and a stomach tickling slide, the train accommodates elements supporting the dramatic play theme of the train. The children can for example access “the engine” under the train, rest in the hammock during their long travel, or go to the steering house and set the destination at the various control panels and handling elements. No matter if they are playing at the locomotive or the wagon, the play equipment is designed to train the children’s physical and cognitive abilities, while they burn their energy off and meet new friends.








The playground quickly found its place in the imagination of the place. The locomotive gives dynamism to a heritage site in the town, and the children become drivers or machinists between sliding and climbing

Guillaume Desbieys

Technical Services Director, City of Saint-Médard

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