Enlarge image

A metronome in Hanover:

Photo: Moritz Frankenberg / dpa

The railway company Metronom will continue to be able to offer only a reduced number of train journeys in the new year due to staff shortages. The replacement timetable will be extended until February 3, Metronom announced on Tuesday.

This means that the so-called booster trains during rush hours will continue to be omitted in the future. In addition, fewer trips are offered during weekend night traffic, for example. "All passengers are asked to inform themselves before starting their journey whether they will be able to realize their usual or planned connections with the new replacement timetable from 10 December," it said in a statement.

The metronome serves several regional routes in Lower Saxony – for example between Hamburg and Hanover, Hanover and Göttingen and between Hamburg and Bremen.

"Insufficient availability of train drivers"

"The background to the continuation of the replacement timetable is the continuing insufficient availability of train drivers in the company – despite great efforts to recruit new staff," the railway company said in a statement. Train drivers are also colloquially called train drivers, but this term is usually no longer used in German experts.

The metronome's thinned-out timetable has been in place for several months. In September, the company had also spoken of increased sick leave among train drivers as well as construction sites that would require additional shifts. This had led to additional train cancellations. "We are very annoyed that, despite all our efforts and measures, there will be train cancellations in the coming period that go beyond our replacement timetable," said the commercial director of Metronom, Nicolai Volkmann.

At that time, as well as now for the extension of the replacement timetable, the company said it regretted the inconvenience caused to passengers and apologized.