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The Nethercutt Tunnel Boring Machine, otherwise known as a TBM, was a large boring drill meant to originally mine precious materials, whilst creating an artificial cavern large enough in which miners from the Coalition of Ordered Governments could move freely without the hazards of claustrophobia, dust inhalation and structural collapse. These TBMs were a class of Subterrene, which were the terrestrial equivalent of a submarine.

These machines ran on phosphorus fuel rather than the much common Imulsion. A number of phosphorus fuel canisters was needed to power the machine; these fuel canisters was located at the back, away from the drilling mechanism, due to the substance's high volatility.


Pendulum Wars[]

The back of the TBM. Note the glow of the phosphorus fuel canister.

The Tunnel Boring Machine was one of the primary workhorses of Nethercutt Mining. Before the Locust War, Nethercutt Mining was one of the largest mining companies in the COG, and had deep financial and political ties with the government. Approximately two-thirds of the raw metals used to manufacture equipment and weapons for the COG military during the Pendulum Wars were originated from mines operated by Nethercutt.[1]

Swarm Invasion[]

During the Swarm Invasion in 42 A.E., Kait and Del visited an abandoned Nethercutt mine where they discovered the remains of a TBM. After fending off the Swarm, Del recommended that it was in the best interests for Kait to use one of the phosphorus fuel canisters from the TBM and turn it into a makeshift bomb powerful enough to crack open the radio signal which was trapped underneath a frozen lake.[1]

Behind the Scenes[]

Concept Art.

  • Although Del calls it a "Giant Drill", it is actually a Tunnel Boring Machine.
  • The machine seemed to be propelled by rocket boosters.
  • It is unknown why the machine was fueled with phosphorus, given how volatile the chemical is, and the hazardous working conditions that the machine operates in. This is more striking when given the historical context of the machine, as Imulsion would have been a cheaper, safer and less volatile fuel source then phosphorus.
  • The machine was based on real life Subterrenes, which were vehicles meant to traverse underground the same way as submarines traverse underwater, hence its name Sub (below) -Terrene (Land). Subterrene were largely replaced by the more modern and effecient Tunnel Boring Machines.[1]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Gears 5: Act II: The Source of it All
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