Though migrants have been travelling to or via the port for most of her history, it was during the period 1836 – 1914 that Hull developed a pivotal role in the movement of transmigrants via the UK. During this period over 2.2 million transmigrants passed through Hull en route to a new life in the US, Canada, South Africa and Australia. Originating from Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway, Russia and Sweden, the transmigrants passed through the port, from where they would take a train to Glasgow, Liverpool, London or Southampton – the UK ports which offered steamship services to the ‘New World’ they had dreamed of.
From Norway and Sweden, the Wilson Line of Hull began operating steamship services as early as 1843 and was joined by the North Europe Steam Navigation Company in 1853 who quickly built up a fleet of nine steamers to ply the Christiania and Gothenburg route. For each company, the human ‘cargo’ they now transported offered easy revenue, supplementing their existing services to the various ports of northern Europe. Although the N.E.S.N.C. ceased operations in 1858, the Wilson Line and a few other Norwegian lines continued to develop the routes between Scandinavia and the UK and between them transported nearly all of the Scandinavian transmigrants.
Most of the emigrants entering Hull travelled via the Paragon Railway Station and from there travelled to Liverpool via Leeds, Huddersfield and Stalybridge (just outside Manchester). The train tickets were part of a package that included the steamship ticket to Hull, a train ticket to Liverpool and then the steamship ticket to their final destination – mainly America.
It would still be possible for a train to go direct between Hull and Liverpool and I dare say freight train loads make that trip and there may be football excursions that do it for games ...modern regular services have the passengers change at Leeds, however.
The main station at Hull is still the Paragon Interchange.