Irish Rail customers will need to make alternative travel arrangements tomorrow morning as staff at Iarnród Éireann prepare for the first of five one-day strikes over pay tomorrow.

Some 155,000 people are expected to be affected by the stoppages which include all Dart, Intercity and commuter rail services.

Both management and unions believe industrial action is inevitable, with Dermot O’Leary, General Secretary for the National Bus and Rail Union saying he did not see “any viable alternative.”

The strike is expected to cost the transport company €600,000 in fare revenue and €300,000 in National Transport Authorities penalties.

Staff at Iarnród Éireann have not had a pay rise in almost 10 years and are looking for a “no strings attached” increase of 3.75 per cent per year.

Further strikes are scheduled for November 7, November 14, November 23, and December 8.

Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann will not be accepting Iarnród Éireann tickets during the strike action, though passengers who have pre-booked tickets for today will have the fare automatically refunded to their accounts.