Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet on Tuesday endorsed as expected a long-delayed plan to partially privatize Germany's rail operator Deutsche Bahn, a government source told Reuters.

The plan, which foresees the sale of a 25 percent government stake in the company, still must be approved by both houses of parliament.

The government values the 25 percent state at roughly 3 billion euros ($4.1 billion) and believes the flotation could take place at the end of 2008.