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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£100,000 of vital maintenance work is being carried out on the Tees Barrage.
Alan Barnes, the Gateshead man given £330,135 by well-wishers after being mugged, plans to sell his home to move to the Shetland Islands.
Higher breakfast sales and a bigger range of healthier products helped it grow underlying profits by 51% in the first half of the year.