Hanagarth, who only joined DB in December 2013, will step down at the end of July.

However, she is unlikely to be the first casualty of a management shake-up designed to address some of the serious problems facing DB, namely intensive competition from recently-deregulated long-distance buses coupled with poor service quality, and a loss of market share in freight transport.

The supervisory board will hold an extraordinary meeting on July 27, while two days later DB CEO Dr Rüdiger Grube will present his restructuring plans and DB's half-year results, which are expected to show a reduction in forecast profit. DB outlined plans in March to reduce costs by €600m by 2019, however this is expected to be stepped up.