The Co-operative Group, West Midlands Co-op and other societies have held initial discussions with the Co-op Union (now known as Co-operatives UK), the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP) and Network Rail to identify potential sites for development, said ACoRP general manager Paul Salveson.
"More detailed discussions will start in the spring, and any retailer interested in railway sites is welcome not only co-ops. "We are talking about standalone c-stores at stations, or multi-functional sites offering a ticket service as well."
North Eastern Co-op food controller Ian Drinkell said he was talking to several rail operating companies about opportunities.
Oxford Swindon & Gloucester Co-op food retail controller Bill Laird said: "Our Swift and Village Store formats could be adapted."