Talks are to take place at the Labour Relations Commission today, aimed at averting more strikes at Irish Rail.
Management and unions are to attend the discussions to assess whether there is a basis for resolving a pay dispute.
Members of the National Bus and Rail Union and SIPTU staged two 24-hour strikes at Irish Rail last Sunday and Monday, bringing services to a halt.
Tens of thousands of rail customers had their travel plans severely disrupted as a result of the action over the implementation of pay cuts of up to 6%.
The workers are planning three further days of work stoppages next month - on September 7, 8 and 21.
Two of the days coincide with the All-Ireland hurling and football finals.
All sides yesterday accepted an invitation from the LRC to exploratory talks at 11.30am today.
The Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe welcomed the development, and said he hoped it would lead to a breakthrough in the dispute.