Digging a Hole: The Massive Tunnel Boring Machine Used to Create City Subways

And here I was, thinking that the city council just hired a bunch of midgets with rock hammers to dig out subway system. But nope, as it turns out the New York City Transit system uses a massive contraption called a Tunnel Boring Machine, or a TBM, which literally bores tunnel-sized holes through the subterranean catacombs of the city.

According to NYC Transit, the TBM “was originally made 30 years ago and used on 4 other projects; it has been reconditioned to be ‘like new.’ The machine was rebuilt and tested in Newark, NJ. It’s been disassembled for shipment and will be reassembled again in the Launch Box.”

I’ve got to be completely honest. The size of this machine is both terrifying and awe-inspiring. The power behind this thing must have to be massive. I could really make some crazy good “your mom is so loose” jokes here, but I’ll let the machine speak for itself.

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