"I am confident that both sides do not want to renew industrial action," Claus Weselsky, the GDL union leader, said as he entered talks in Berlin on Friday morning.
However, only the night before he told the radio broadcaster hr-Info that: "We have proven that we can make ourselves heard. I don't want to go through another stubborn refusal by management."
DB is continuing talks left off from last week when it began to negotiate separately with its two unions, the GDL and the EVG, which represents other rail staff.
Ulrich Weber, chief of DB's human resources, said he was ready to compromise. Earlier in the week, he presented both unions with identical labour agreements.
Weselsky also renewed his statement, first made on Tuesday, that his union would not call for strikes over Christmas.
At stake is a pay raise to the tune of five percent as well as a shorter working week.
The GDL also wants the right to be able to negotiate on behalf of 17,000 DB staff members represented by the EVG as well as its 2,200 train drivers.
The EVG is scheduled to return to negotiations on December 12.
In the current dispute, GDL members have already walked out six times, including two strikes that lasted for multiple days.