(Philadelphia) -- Last-ditch negotiators are scheduled to try to avert a walkout that could halt commuter trains serving the Philadelphia area this weekend.
Federal mediators have asked the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority to meet today with the two unions representing about 400 engineers and electricians.
Stephen Bruno, vice president of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, says workers will strike at 12:01 a.m. Saturday if no deal is reached. He says ``a chasm'' separates the parties.
Thirteen regional rail lines serve about 126,000 passengers each weekday in the Philadelphia suburbs of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
Buses, trolleys and subways into Philadelphia would still operate in the event of a walkout.
The last regional rail strike, in 1983, lasted for more than three months.
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