At the beginning of the Fifties, the central European railroads began to grapple intensively with the competition from airplanes and automobiles in order to win back for the railroads the well-to-do clientele of business travelers. Seven railroads (CFL, DB, FS, NS, SBB, SNCB, and SNCF) thus established in 1954 the so-called “TransEuropExpress Committee” in order to win back potential customers for long-distance service on medium distances with speed and a high level of service. It was quickly agreed that diesel powered rail cars were suitable vehicles for international train routes. Eight European railroads then agreed for the annual schedule for 1957/58 (the ÖBB came later) to introduce a system of high-quality fast trains exclusively for 1st class – the Trans-Europe-Express (TEE). Not all of the initially planned connections came into effect, but agreement was finally reached on 13 pairs of trains on a route network of 5,100 kilometers / 3,187 miles. Ten of these TEE trains with sonorous names went into operation for the summer schedule starting June 2, 1957: “Rhein-Main” (Amsterdam – Frankfurt), “Saphir” (Oostende – Dortmund), “Helvetia” (Hamburg – Zürich), “Paris-Ruhr” (Paris – Dortmund), “Edelweiss” (Amsterdam – Zürich), “Étoile du Nord” (Paris – Amsterdam), “Oiseau Bleu” (Paris – Brussels), “Arbalète” (Paris – Zürich), “Île de France” (Paris – Amsterdam), and “Mont Cenis” (Lyon – Milan). Added to this for the winter schedule in 1957 were the three remaining connections: “Mediolanum” (Munich – Innsbruck – Milan), “Ligure” (Marseille – Nice – Genoa – Milan), and “Parsifal” (Paris – Cologne – Dortmund). The DB, the FS, the NS/SBB, and the SNCF purchased diesel powered rail cars for these TEE services, fulfilled the demands for the highest level of comfort, and ran only 1st class.