#PORTRAIT #Philippe Galland, Chairman of GALLAND Company

Version française

« Producing in France today makes as much sense as before »

Chairman of Galland SAS, Philippe Galland has lived many lives from architect to filmmaker and, finally, to manufacturer. This atypical career is a great life opportunity and asset.  


Films and industry : Marriage of the Century
« I was born on January 31, 1947, My father and my grandfather created the company named GALLAND in 1946 at Choisy-le-Roi. Later, in 1961 my father founded « Fonderies et Ateliers du Bélier ». I witnessed the growth of our family business. My father did not want me to follow in his steps and to be in charge of the family business, and, after my successful admission to the École Normale Supérieure I decided to train as an architect… But, shortly afterwards, I shifted towards the filmmaking. Screenwriter and film director, I produced « American quarter of an hour » in 1982, « Marriage of the Century » in 1985, among other films. »

Return to the Sources
« What I liked about filmmaking was working with people with different backgrounds and skills in order to achieve the best possible result. My come-back to the business world happened naturally as I always stayed close to this world. I took an active responsability of the family business including GALLAND SAS and LES FONDERIES ET ATELIER DU BELIER (located in Vérac, Gironde), succeeding to my mother and my brother. In 2003 I supervised the relocation of GALLAND’s production site from Choisy-le-Roi to La Lande-de-Fronsac in order to bring it closer to LES FONDERIES ET ATELIER DU BELIER. »

International openness
My film « Marriage of the Century » was shot in Hungary some years before the fall of the Berlin wall. Working with hungarian technicians made me realise how strong their desire to join Europe was and how promising the future of our companies was in Europe and in the world. In 1994 LES FONDERIES ET ATELIER DU BELIER acquired a Hungarian foundry HUNGALU, then created a branch in China, followed by an establishment in Mexico. Some years later, GALLAND SAS followed the same path. As part of my business vision I consider that growth and international openness are related. However, producing in France today makes as much sense as before : overhead lines only represent 1% of the budget for the building of a new railway line. Foreign constructors prefer to import our know-how instead of trying to copy it. »

Different products derived from the family expertise
«When I was young my grandfather made the drawings himself, then he manufactured prototypes of the catenary parts in the basement of his suburban house. Thanks to his sailor background, the design of GALLAND products was inspired by boat rigging.Their finesse equals their robustness. My grandfather always said : « Think about people who are up there : the material should be light and easy to install ! ». These guidelines are part of GALLAND’s « DNA », the are accurately followed by GALLAND’s research and development team directed by Philippe D’Huy. We continue to develop solutions that are lighter and easier to assemble than those of our competitors. Our activity is also in compliance with the current environmental concerns : electrical rail transport is the least polluting type of transport in the world. Doing better, faster and greener makes us proud.

GALLAND in 7 dates :

1946 : The company was founded in Choisy-le-Roi (Val de Marne).
1963 : SNCF participates to the electrification of India and asks GALLAND to train the installation teams in Calcutta.
1996 : GALLAND participates to the electrification of the Chinease network

2003 : The manufacturing is transferred from Choisy-le-Roi to a new site, on a familial land, in La Lande-de-Fronsac (Gironde).
2012 : GALLAND adopts a proactive international strategy.
2016 : Creation of the subsidiary company in China « GCS » (Galland Catenary Suzhou).
2019 : GALLAND supplies overhead equipment for the express metro project to Mauritius…