Rail peace hopes raised by Acas talks

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The Independent Online
TALKS at the conciliation service Acas aimed at ending the rail dispute will continue today and into next week, raising hopes of a breakthrough in the four-month-old pay row.

Railtrack said about 8,000 trains, 53 per cent of the normal total, ran yesterday - the signal workers' 19th day of action. The Rail Maritime and Transport union disputed the figure, claiming it was less than 40 per cent.

Another 48-hour walkout is planned for next Thursday and Friday. Vernon Hince, the RMT's chief negotiator, said as he arrived at Acas: 'There's still a long way to go yet.' David Armstrong, Railtrack's personnel director, confirmed he expected the talks to continue today and tomorrow. The two sides have now spent more time talking to each other than at any time since the productivity pay row began.