To avoid a strike by Regional Rail engineers next week, SEPTA has asked President Obama to establish another emergency board to mediate the long-running labor dispute.

The creation of such a board will require SEPTA and its 220 engineers to continue to operate as usual for 120 days. SEPTA general manager Joseph Casey, in his letter Tuesday to Obama, requested the order take effect at 12:01 a.m. Sunday, the day that the existing emergency board, appointed by Obama on June 14, will expire.

The first presidential board issued its report in July, largely siding with SEPTA management in the dispute. Leaders of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen say they would settle for the terms recommended by the board, but that SEPTA management has balked at one provision: the effective date of future wage increases.

SEPTA says one other issue is holding up a settlement: A requirement that engineers wear uniforms.

- Paul Nussbaum