1945-1960 : The « electrification » years

« When I was a child in the 1950s we still used to travel from Paris to Bordeaux in a train pulled by a steam locomotive » remembers Philippe Galland. Immediately after the Second World War, the French railroad network accelerated the electrification of its lines. Galland actively participated in this modernization. Read the saga:

1951 : Founding design

Philippe Galland’s grandfather designed one of the first section insulators. The former master mechanic in the Navy conceived his parts on the model of boat upper works : delicate, aerial and robust elements that facilitated the tasks of workers perched 12 meters in the air.


1952 : The “Paris-Lyons” link is electrified

In June 1952, electric traction replaced the steam engine on the Chalon-Lyons stretch, then the new system was extended to the whole of the Paris-Lyons line.

This technical feat was made possible in particular thanks to the Galland section insulators. The company signed a partnership with SNCF (French Railways).


1955 : speed record in Les Landes county

The 28 and 29 March 1955 are seminal dates in the history of French railroads : a train reaches 331 km/h for the first time on the Bordeaux-Dax line. Guess which company was chosen at this time for the reliability and lightness of its section insulators ?


1961 : The Bélier foundries

In order to create his own parts and to respect his quality criteria, Jacques Galland (Philippe’s father) set up the Bélier foundry and workshops

In 1961, in Vérac. The circle is complete : Jacques’s father had bought a country home in the region with the money from the patents filed in 1936.


1960 : A Passage to India

Thanks to its national success, SNCF (French Railways) was chosen by India to participate in the country’s electrification. As an SNCF partner, Galland was part of this adventure. Jacques Galland set up a company in India managed jointly by local partners. These were Galland’s first steps on the international scene.


You can read at any time in the year the anecdotes and the high points of our 75 years of existence on our internet site.