TALKS aimed at averting another strike on Arriva Trains Northern ended without agreement.
The company is now seeking to involve the conciliation service Acas to try to end a pay row with the Rail Maritime and Transport union.
But the union said a 48-hour strike next week seemed inevitable.
Arriva said some progress was made at the latest talks in York, but not enough to settle the dispute.
The union held a 48-hour strike last week and is planning another two-day walkout next Tuesday and Wednesday.
The action is part of a campaign to increase the pay of conductors.
A union spokesman said the RMT was willing to negotiate sensibly and seriously.
"Arriva Trains Northern management were not prepared to move their position in the negotiations at all," he said.
A skeleton service ran on the trans-Pennine service through Huddersfield during last week's strike.
Arriva said it planned to do the same again if there was another stoppage.