WASHINGTON - The latest round of talks to try to prevent a Long Island Rail Road strike have been derailed. 

Union representatives went to Washington to meet with MTA officials for what was supposed to be days of negotiations, but officials say things ended strangely. 

The MTA and unions say they will look ahead to a second meeting sometime in the spring. 

The stakes are high as evidenced by the fact that the White House has appointed mediators to assist in negotiations. 

If no resolution is reached, nearly 6,000 LIRR workers could legally walk off the job this summer. The move would leave 300,000 commuters in the lurch. 

Some frustrated representatives from both sides told News 12 the negotiations ended prematurely. 

The MTA and union reps accused the other side of leaving early.