BERLIN (AP) — In Germany, the trains aren't running on time.
Officials of German Rail said Monday the problem began in Mainz where half of the 15 dispatchers are either sick or on vacation. As a result, regional trains are now running hourly in Mainz and the Rhine River area rather than every half hour, delaying thousands of commuters and travelers in a major population center.
Because the network is so interconnected, the shortage in Mainz threatens delays nationwide. Officials are considering asking staff to cut short holidays but work rules don't allow for mandatory recalls.
The Rail and Transport Union says the only solution is to hire more workers. "Now we need a clear signal to hire more people," the union chairman, Alexander Kirchner, said on ARD Television.