Talks aimed at resolving the Southern Railway drivers' dispute will be held at the conciliation service Acas later today.
Thousands of commuters are facing a second day of travel chaos with another 24-hour stoppage planned on Friday, in a long running row over driver-only trains.
Aslef, the Rail, Maritime and Transport union and Southern are locked in an ongoing bitter dispute over the trains and changes to the role of guards.
All of Southern's 2,242 weekday services were cancelled on Tuesday, causing the worst disruption for more than 20 years.
Aslef and the RMT attacked the government for the strike, saying ministers had been preventing Southern from negotiating properly.
Charles Horton, chief executive of Southern's owners, Govia Thameslink Railway, said: "We reached out to Aslef as we said we would and now welcome the opportunity to discuss a way forward with them.
"The travelling public are suffering misery and inconvenience and the impact on the regional economy is significant.
"We assure everyone we are committed to trying to find a solution to the union's dispute."
Commuters are planning a protest outside the Department for Transport on Thursday evening.