Over the next year or two, we will sadly see the end of meter gauge lines in Tamil Nadu bringing to end an era where people travelled in smaller compartments, by slower trains, stayed under the bulbs ( lighting) and sat on wooden seats!!! And yet did not seem to complain.
Its another matter that no more do we drink water from the village pumps on the rice fields of Thanjavur or Nellai or travel by cycle rickshaws in Madras and hence not having meter gauge trains seems to be yet another obvious sign of development!!!
With the last phase of gauge conversion (meter gauge to broad gauge) currently taking place, there are only a few sections in Tamil Nadu that still officially remain meter gauge- Madurai-Coimbatore (now Podanur) section, Mayavaram- Tiruvarur, Madurai- Bodi, Tirunelveli- Ambasamudram-Tenkasi and Shengottai-Quilon.
Possibly in 2011-12, we will see the end of meter gauge lines in Tamil Nadu and one more nostalgia of the 'Black & White' days will get into the history books.
Below is a photograph of a meter gauge train moving towards Madurai from Dindigul in its final days ( this section too has got converted to broad gauge)