Network Rail is seeking an injunction against the strike planned for next week, claiming that there are discrepancies in the vote that decided on the strike. Papers have been served to the RMT Union this afternoon.

The union’s General Secretary, Bob Crow said “We spent two days in talks and making some serious progress Network Rail has chosen to sabotage that progress by using the anti-union laws to drag us into the High Court. As far aw we are concerned we ran a perfectly legal and above board ballot and will defend our position to the hilt.”

In an open letter on Network Rail’s website, Chief Executive Iain Coucher said “Network Rail has worked very hard indeed to make reasonable and worthwhile offers to the unions so we can negotiate an end to their disputes.

“I don’t believe any of those offers have been considered seriously by the unions’ leaders during our many discussions, which also involved ACAS for two days last week… or they wouldn’t have called a national rail strike.

“We will keep trying to help the unions and their members understand our offers to avoid strikes: but they must want to negotiate, and not just make empty gestures about talking.”

The strike could effectively bring the rail system to a halt but there were reports this morning that if Network Rail manage to run a skeleton service then commuters who have spent thousands of pounds on season tickets will not be able to receive compensation. Passengers who have bought a ticket for a train which is cancelled due to the strike will be able to get a refund or an alternative ticket. London TravelWatch have said for commuters however, that if they are unable to get to work for a ‘reasonable hour’ then they should be entitled to claim compensation as not everyone is able to travel at alternative times in the day.