560 tonnes of new rail, 7,000 new sleepers and 20,000 tonnes of new track ballast is being stored ready for the modernisation work, which will see the Metro's longest line closure for more than 30 years.
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White Rose flags and crowds half a dozen deep met the riders as they swept through the towns and villages of North Yorkshire.
The Black Cats boss has spoken to the media following his side's one nil defeat to Bournemouth which relegated them from the Premier League.
The Black Cats will play next season in the Championship after being relegated from the Premier League.