Talks to reduce the working week for Irish Rail drivers could could hold the key to avoid an all out strike.
Unions and management have been involved in a long running dispute over the training of new drivers.
It has now emerged the company has agreed to talks over the number of hours worked as a compromise.
Dermot O'Leary is the General Secretary of the National Bus and Railworkers Union: "We've struck an agreement with the company, the members know about the ballot and the ballot decision will amount to accepting that there will be a new training regime but for that our members will go to the table and discuss with the company the reduction of the working week similar to the UK and Northern Ireland for the three month time period.
"It's anticipated that if that is accepted by our drivers that we will in fact hopefully achieve that long-standing outcome of a reduction in the working week."