40,000 workers on Network Rail and 14 train operating companies will take action on 3,4,6 and 7 this week, shutting down most rail services across the country.
Despite the union's best efforts over the Christmas period, rail employers have not arranged any formal negotiations with RMT to resolve the dispute.
Both Network Rail and the Rail Delivery Group are being directly blocked by government ministers from producing an acceptable proposal on job security, pay and working conditions.
RMT remains available around the clock for talks so all parties can come to a negotiated settlement.
The situation stands in stark contrast to other areas of the railway where the Department for Transport does not have a mandate.
RMT has secured deals with Scotrail, Transport for Wales, contracts on Eurostar and areas where the railway is under the control of metro mayors.
Mick Lynch, RMT general secretary, said: "The government is blocking the union's attempts to reach a negotiated settlement with the rail employers.
"We have worked with the rail industry to reach successful negotiated settlements ever since privatisation in 1993. And we have achieved deals across the network in 2021 and 2022 where the DfT has no involvement.
"Yet in this dispute, there is an unprecedented level of ministerial interference, which is hamstringing rail employers from being able to negotiate a package of measures with us, so we can settle this dispute.
"We will continue our industrial action campaign while we work towards a negotiated resolution."
RMT has achieved deals in the following areas where DfT has not been involved:
Eurostar International: 8% pay rise
Eurostar - Mitie security: 10% pay rise for all staff and 29% for the lowest paid.
Scotrail: 7-9% backdated to April this year
Transport for Wales: Between 6.6% and 9.5% pay rise
Merseyrail: 7% pay rise
MTR Crossrail: 8.2% (2021-2022)
Docklands Light Railway: 9.25%
London Underground: 8.4% (2021)