The majority of people believe rail workers have the right to strike when negotiations fail, according to a poll.
The survey of 2,000 people, carried out by Opinium on behalf of the RMT union, found fewer than one in five people supported cuts to staff on trains and stations.
Seven out of 10 said rail workers should have a pay rise that takes into account the cost of living, while 59% believe staff have the right to strike if talks fail.
Three out of five said the government should intervene to make sure rail companies tackle workers' concerns.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said the poll showed there was "strong support" for the strikes and "massive public opposition to plans to cut thousands of track, train, and station jobs, and to the government's policy of allowing profiteering from the rail industry."
But National Rail accused the union of taking a "strike first, negotiate later" approach and said the RMT's lead negotiator had "spent more time on telly than at the table this week".
The Department for Transport said in response: "The unions know negotiations over pay and working practices don't happen with the government - they happen with the employers of the people they represent.
"In this case, that's Network Rail and the train operating companies, so even an hour spent talking to ministers would just be time they could be speaking to the people they really need to."