Earth Boring Machines were first built in 1845 to dig a railroad tunnel between France and Italy. This machine had 100 percussion drills mounted on the front a locomotive sized machine. Pneumatic drills quickly replaced the original equipment to complete the job 10 years after it was started. Boring machines came to the United States in 1853 and drilled only 10 feet before breaking down. The project was completed 20 years later and it wasn’t until 1952 that a Boring Machine was successfully used to bore 3650 feet while building the Oahe Dam near Pierre South Dakota.
Tunnel Boring Machines have been used to dig tunnels up to 35 miles through the Swiss Alps and carry trains that will travel up to 250 MPH.