This paper is a summary of a research sponsored by NATO Sfs programme, on "Development of Rapid Excavation Technologies" for the Turkish mining and Tunneling Industries. Full-scale cutting tests were carried out on rock samples collected from different tunneling sides and machine performance was predicted for each case due to a model developed using specific energy values. Tunnel boring machines application in Tuzla-Dragos Tunnel gave a unique opportunity to compare predicted and actual machine performance data. An empirical model for the prediction of roadheaders and jackhammers performances was also created using a database collected from several tunnel excavation activities. This model makes possible to predict net cutting rate of a machine using power of the machine, rock compressive strength and RQD (Rock Quality Designation) of the rock formation. A detailed research programme was carried out using numerical modeling software (Franc 2D/L) and a small scale rock cutting rig to investigate the effect of rock stresses on machine performance. Previously described cutting performance models for roadheaders were reevaluated using the results of numerical modeling and data cutting test results under stressed conditions. Underground environmental measurements were taken in Istanbul Metro Tunnels and Middle Anatolian Lignite Mine to compare dust and noise levels accountered in tunnel drivages both with roadheaders and impact hammers. © 2005 Taylor & Francis Group.