Cutter Head of TBM for Metro Manila Subway arrives from Japan


The Department of Transportation (DOTr) today, February 5 led the unveiling of the Cutter Head of Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) “Kaunlaran”.

TBM Kaunlaran is the first of six TBMs to be used for the partial operability section of Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP), the country’s first underground railway system.

A total of 25 TBMs will be utilized for the entire MMSP.


“The arrival of the first TBM Cutter Head also signals the continuous arrival of the other TBM equipment and materials. On the following days of February 2021, the remaining parts of the machine will arrive and will be transported at the site for assembly, which will then be followed by the conduct of mandatory operational test prior to the lowering and main drive underground. It is expected to be done in the third quarter of this year,” DOTr said.

“Playing an integral part in building the subway, the TBMs will be used to dig underground and lay out the tunnels. They can excavate through a variety of ground conditions, from hard rock to sand,” it explained.

According to DOTr, MMSP will stretch across 36-kilometers, connecting Valenzuela Depot to NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay City and FTI.