If the idea of an old-fashioned train...

If the idea of an old-fashioned train ride is appealing, several trips are on the books. Coming up: a six-day swing with Pacific Railroad Society to Colorado. The train departs from Los Angeles' Union Station Feb. 15. Other pickups in Pasadena, Pomona, San Bernardino. The train travels to Flagstaff, the Red Rock Indian country of Arizona and on into the southern Rocky Mountain range to Trinidad, Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Denver. Return via Salt Lake City, Reno, Oakland. Rate per person (double occupancy), $480. Contact Pacific Railroad Society, P.O. Box 2858, Riverside 92516-2858, or telephone (714) 684-7458.

New Orleans Other rail buffs will be heading for New Orleans and the Mardis Gras aboard a coach built in 1927 for New York Central Railroad's 20th Century Ltd. Previously used by New York Central's board of directors. Sleeps eight. This is an eight-day tour, $1,045 (includes rail travel, meals on the train, three nights at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans). Details from Golden Spike Rail Tours, P.O. Box 3429, Fullerton 92634, or telephone (714) 680-5090.

Royal Scotsman In Britain the world's oldest dining car has been elegantly restored for the Royal Scotsman luxury train. Will feature lavish buffets, six-course dinners, choice wines, 21-year-old Scotch, live music, waiters in kilts. The dining car (circa 1891) will join an observation car built in 1892, a day car that went into service in 1912 plus four other coaches. Accommodations for only 30 passengers. The Royal Scotsman is powered by a private locomotive (overnight stops at peaceful country sitings). A sightseeing motor coach accompanies the train for excursions to stately homes, castles, gardens. Contact your travel agent or Auto-Venture, 920 Logan Building, Seattle, Wash. 98101. Other details from Abercrombie & Kent, 1000 Oak Brook Road, Oak Brook, Ill. 60521. Telephone toll free (800) 323-7308).

Jazz Train On March 15, Classic Rail will sponsor a "jazz train," Los Angeles to San Francisco. Privately owned rail cars, a Dixieland band. Fine dining with bone china, linen, fresh flowers. In San Francisco passengers transfer to the Holiday Inn at Fisherman's Wharf. Day tours of the Bay Area, including Alcatraz Island. Price: $329. Contact Classic Rail, P.O. Box 2541, Orange 92669, or telephone (714) 532-1380 or (714) 870-8641.

San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo County is one of those tranquil spots they should put a fence around and keep visitors out. Lots of clean air, rolling green hills, spectacular seascape. Trouble is, the folks in San Luis Obispo want visitors. They've produced a guide featuring drives to Hearst Castle, Morro Bay, Cambria, the wine regions of San Luis Obispo County. For a copy of the guide, drop a card to the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce, 1039 Chorro St., San Luis Obispo 93401.

Working Vacations The American Hiking Society is recruiting volunteer workers for jobs in national parks, forests, islands in the Pacific. Ages 16 to 70. No pay but a chance to commune with nature, help preserve the nation's wilderness resources. Assignments in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, Wyoming. Teams help maintain trails, build cabins, etc. Contact AHS Volunteer Vacations, P.O. Box 86, North Scituate, Mass. 02060.

Reader Recommendations Fallbrook, Calif.--Tom Hashman, Manhattan Beach: "Dined at Karen's Kitchen Cupboard, 110 E. Mission, Fallbrook. Good food at reasonable prices. Order a warm piece of real beef jerky right out of the cooker. Goes real well with an ice-cold brew."

Cambria--Donna Wilkerson, Chatsworth: "A delightful B&B; in Cambria, the J. Patrick House, 2990 Burton Drive, Cambria, Calif. 93428. Wonderful hors d'oeuvres served with wine and champagne . . . morning baked goods are heavenly . . . $65 per night for two."

England--Mrs. Dwight M. Hughes, San Ysidro: "In England, Peter and Rosemary Chandler will welcome you to the Plume of Feathers, a lovely and interesting 300-year-old country inn at Shrewton, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England. About two miles from Stonehenge. Telephone Shrewton 620201. An extensive dinner and breakfast menu. Highly recommend their home cooking."

Ireland--Alyce M. Clark, San Pedro: "Kyle Farm House, Glen Hevan, Croom, County Limerick. Katherine and Euman Liston, owners, recently honored at a reception in Dublin as winners of the regional award for 'farmhouse of the year in 1984.' "

Hong Kong--Terry O'Neill, Glendale: "Sam's Tailor, Kowloon, Hong Kong, advertises itself as Tailor for Prince Philip. If Prince Philip got the service I did he must have given the suit to Prince Harry--nothing fit properly, and all I got was promises, promises. So, a word of caution! Try Benny Law at The Regent, or Wang's at the Hilton--they are very reputable."

Alaska--Barbara Kurek, Orange: "A one-day indescribable Alaskan adventure. Contact the Great Alaska Fish Can, Sterling, Alaska 99672. Besides one-day tours, there are longer stays at camps."

Ferndale, Calif.--R.A. Griffin, Costa Mesa: "A delightful bed and breakfast, the Gingerbread Mansion, 400 Verting St., Ferndale, Calif. 95535. Rates: $65 for two, $75 for three. Other rates, $45 double. It was like stepping into another era. The decor is our very favorite Victorian age."

Fremont, Calif.--Jane and Ed Gair, Reseda: "A wonderful bed-and-breakfast inn, Lord Bradley's, 43344 Mission Blvd., Mission San Jose, Fremont, Calif. 94539. Adjacent to the old Mission San Jose. For $55 a night a double room, continental breakfast, afternoon wine. We loved it!"

Ashford, Wash.--Beth and Bill Brach, Laguna Hills: "Heartily recommend the Ashford Mansion of Ashford, Wash. 98304. Beautifully refurbished Georgian-style home. . . . Listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Located six miles from Mt. Rainier National Park."

Fort Bragg, Calif.--Mr. and Mrs. M. Rothman, Whittier: "Enjoyed Pine Beach Inn, Coast Highway 1, P.O. Box 1173, Fort Bragg, Calif. 95437. Have stayed there about five times. Planning to go again within the next couple of months. I use a battery-operated wheelchair and have found many resorts are insensitive to people like myself. The Pine Beach Inn is ideal because there are paths which are level and lead around the grounds."

New Orleans--Hilda Shaylor, Laguna Beach: "This guest house is in the heart of the French Quarter in New Orleans, very reasonable--623 Ursulines St., New Orleans, La. 70116. Rates start at $44."

New Orleans--Frank and Marguerite Kasson, Green Valley, Ariz.: "The Frenchman Hotel, located on Frenchman Street in New Orleans. Only a few blocks from Jackson Square and the French market. Comprises three antebellum mansions. . . . Charmingly furnished with decor of the period. Twenty-four rooms, $70-$90. A small pool and Jacuzzi. Address: The Frenchman Hotel, 417 Frenchman St., New Orleans, La. 70116."

England--Mrs. Frances J. Lohr, Los Angeles: ". . .The Pear Tree Guesthouse, Capcott, Somerset, England. Converted 300-year-old farmhouse. Good home cooking, garden produce in season. Rate about $10. Easy drive to Bath, Stratford-on-Avon, Wales."

England--Vicki Stowell, Ventura: "A new, modern English home, Beechwood House, 12 Chiselbury Grove, Harnham, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England. Price: 7.50 (about $8.50) per night including a wonderful full English breakfast."

England--Mrs. Robert Shilts, Los Angeles: "A B&B; operated by Marje Setchfield in a quiet area about 10 minutes from Gatwick Airport. About $23 per couple for airport pickup and return, full English breakfast, etc. Address: Chimneys, Ifield Wood, near Crawley, West Sussex RH1 11Le, England. Phone: Crawley 21312."

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