German railway group Deutsche Bahn AG (DB) has opened a new training center in Cologne-Dellbrück, the largest and most modern of its kind in Germany.

Some 250 apprentices will be trained at the 7,200 square meters facility each year. The centre also makes use of the potential of virtual reality. A 2.2 tonne train simulator for the locomotive series 185/192 allows users to perform test drives and exams. It can simulate weather conditions such as snow, fog and heavy rainfall.

"DB is increasing its capacity in education and training," board member Martin Seiler said at the opening ceremony. "We are investing in the future and in a strong track."

The group said it was hiring thousands of new employees that required training.

"Cologne-Dellbrück offers the most modern learning conditions," Seiler added.

Construction of the new centre began in August 2018. It combines locations in North-Rhine Westphalia that were previously separate, turning them into a high-performance unit. The Deutsche Bahn subsidiary DB Training, Learning & Consulting will run the facility.