The country will be brought to an unprecedented standstill if train drivers vote for their first national strike since 1995.
Aslef union members are to be balloted over industrial action at 10 different train firms across the country.
It was also reported there was similar action proposed by the TSSA union, which represents station and ticket office workers.
The first Aslef ballot results are expected on Monday at Arriva Rail London, Chiltern Railways, Great Western, LNER, Northern Trains, South Eastern, TransPennine Express and West Midlands Trains.
Additional ballots at Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry and Direct Rail Services will end on 27 July.
The Department for Transport (DfT) called the decision “very disappointing,” as instead of committing to “serious dialogue with the industry,” unions are “seeking to cause further misery to passengers by joining others in disrupting the rail network.”
“Our railway is in desperate need of modernisation to make it work better for passengers and be financially sustainable for the long term,” said a spokesperson.
“The only thing more strikes will do, however, is wreak further havoc on the very people unions claim to stand up for.”
This comes after strike action by RMT union workers last month which led to multiple days of strikes across the country. There was also a tube strike.
The industrial action, over pay and conditions amid the cost of living crisis, comes after unions and train companies failed to reach an agreement. Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, declined to meet the RMT union boss Mick Lynch.