Boris Johnson has told his cabinet the nation must prepare for strike action.
“We need the union barons to sit down with Network Rail and the train companies and move on,” he said.
“We need, I’m afraid, everyone, and I’m saying this to the whole country, we need to prepare to stay on track.
“To stay on track because these reforms, these improvements in the way we run our railways are in the best interest of the traveling public, they will help lower costs for fare payers across the country.”
He insisted that a modernization program is also in the interests of workers because “if we don’t do this, these great companies, this great industry, will face further financial pressure, it will go bankrupt and the result will be that they should raise the cost of tickets even further”.
That would result in the “disaster” of declining rail use, he warned.