Of the many different buildings that the railways of this country developed for specialised needs, apart from stations, the most instantly recognisable to the general public was the signalbox. For over 100 years signalboxes were more common on railways than stations, goods sheds or engine sheds. Almost every station had at least one; most road level crossings were protected by one and all junctions were controlled by at least one. However, with the reduction in the railway network from the mid-20th century onwards and the continuing encroachment of modernisation, the traditional signalbox is now increasingly threatened. The first edition of abc Signalboxes, published in 1997, provided a concise history of these once familiar structures from their emergence in the middle of the 19th century through to the end of the 20th century. In the 1940s, there were around 10,000 signalboxes around the country. By the date of the first edition, this number had been reduced to less than 1,000 and in the decade since the book was first published, the number has been further reduced. There are however, still locations such as Worcester and Shrewsbury, where the traditional signalbox remains dominant and there are an increasing number of boxes being preserved either in situ or on the heritage railways.