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Union Station, Washington D.C.This Saturday, May 7, hundreds of train-themed events will be engineered across the U.S. in celebration of National Train Day. The festival’s lineup of railroad memorabilia exhibits and historic car displays is more than enough to lure train fanatics of all shapes and sizes, the kinds of avid hobbyists who build elaborate model train sets in their basements and own the DVD “Unstoppable.”

For the rest of us, Train Day offers plenty to pique our interest too. Like cake. Last year, none other than “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro created an enormous train-shaped confection for the event in New York. Who knew locomotives could be so moist and delicious? While there’s no word on whether Buddy will appear at this year’s fete, there will be food prepared by celebrity chefs. There will be concerts. (Gladys Knight is the spokesperson for National Train Day 2011.) And there will be giveaways!

Here’s a sample of some upcoming National Train Day events taking place in Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Chicago:

-Amtrak Security K-9 Units will be performing exciting demonstrations featuring fearless, furry guards.

-There will be sweepstakes galore with some big-ticket prizes. Spoils include everything from free hotel stays to, of course, complimentary train tickets.

-Various celebrity chefs (such as Michel Richard of Citronelle) will prepare samples of gourmet meals served onboard Amtrak dining cars.

National Train Day events are taking place in small towns as well as big cities across the U.S. To find an event near you, use the handy National Train Day interactive map.

Throw in a major milestone — along with some celebratory money-saving deals — and you’ve got even more excitement. This year, Amtrak celebrates 40 years as “America’s Railroad.” The country’s biggest passenger rail service, which created National Train Day, is honoring its birthday by bestowing double and triple points on Amtrak Guest Rewards members and letting youngsters ride for free.

Will you be taking part in National Train Day?

— written by Caroline Costello

boston fall New England and Canada are immensely popular autumn destinations — but that doesn’t mean there aren’t fall deals to be found in these parts of the world. You just have to know where to look. We did some travel deal detective work and unearthed several exceptional bargains in harvest-time havens from Maine to Montreal. Travelers can look forward to blazing foliage, crisp autumn weather and fun fall festivals when visiting these regions in September and October.

Third Night Free on Maine’s Coast
This October, get a free night’s stay at Cedarholm Garden Bay Inn, an oceanfront property located in the Camden, Maine area. The inn’s guest cottages, which start at $225 per night, all have private decks overlooking the water. Guests wake up to a complimentary Continental breakfast served each morning.

7-Night Canada/New England Cruise from $549
Pay less than $80 per night — that’s roughly half off standard fares — for a week-long Caribbean Princess cruise sailing roundtrip from New York on September 18. This leaf-peeping cruise stops in scenic ports including Halifax, Bar Harbor and Newport.

Save 25% in Montreal
Receive 25 percent off weekend stays at the Hotel Omni Mount-Royal, a centrally located Montreal hotel set in the city’s popular Golden Square Mile neighborhood. Discounted nightly rates start at $104.25 CAD for travel before December 30.

U.S. Fares from $44 OW
AirTran‘s latest systemwide sale includes low-priced flights to fabulous fall destinations like Boston; Portland, Maine; Rochester; and Buffalo. These sale fares are valid for travel through mid-December, and must be booked by August 24.

Save 25% on Northeast Regional Train Travel
Travelers departing from New York, Washington D.C., Boston and Philadelphia can get discounted Amtrak tickets to lovely New England towns like Providence, New Haven and Stamford. Discounted tickets start at just $10 each way when booked 14 days in advance.

Save 30% on Boston Hotels
For a limited time, travelers heading to Beantown this autumn can take advantage of reduced rates at dozens of local hotels. Book with Hotels.com by August 30 and save up to 40 percent on accommodations in Boston. This deal features nightly rates as cheap as $58 (for the Westgate Hotel and Conference Center), plus discounts at upscale properties including the Copley Square Hotel and the Langham, Boston.

Find more bargains in our Discount Travel Deals.

Editor’s Note: IndependentTraveler.com is a member of the TripAdvisor Media Network, an operating company of Expedia, Inc, which also owns Hotels.com.