Germany’s national railway operator Deutsche Bahn AG may trim nearly 40,000 employees from its payroll over the next five years. Norbert Bensel, Deutsche Bahn’s head of personnel, told Bloomberg News that railway union officials citing 37,000 job cuts “could be correct” and he could not rule such a figure out. Deutsche Bahn, which slashed its workforce in half to 210,000 employees between 1991 and 2002, is preparing a new five-year workforce plan for release in December, Bensel said. Deutsche Bahn and its three unions are considering renewing an agreement that restricts job cuts to normal attrition, or not replacing people who quit or retire. The agreement, which depends on the unions' acceptance of payroll targets, expires in 2004.