Union leaders and Network Rail bosses will meet for showdown talks today in a bid to avert major disruption for travellers across the country this bank holiday weekend.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport union is planning a 24-hour walk out from 5pm on Monday May 25 and a 48-hour ban on overtime as many bank holiday daytrippers look to make their way home.
Commuters in the capital will be hoping a deal can be agreed with rail services in London under threat of grinding to a halt on Tuesday morning.
An overwhelming majority of union members voted in favour of industrial action last week after Network Rail's pay deal of a one-off £500 payment to staff and three years of pay rises matching RPI inflation were resoundingly rejected as insignificant.
Today leaders from the two groups will meet at workplace conciliation service Acas in order to reach a deal.
The union has warned that rail services would still be at a standstill on Tuesday morning as commuters head back to work, while the AA forecasts heavy traffic on the motorways on Monday evening in the event of any railway shutdown.
Ahead of the crunch talks RMT says it is still open to negotiations, with 92 per cent of its members voting that they would prefer other forms of action "short of a strike".