CIVIC Park filled with a chanting crowd at the Rally for the Rail on Sunday, with police estimating about 2000 calling for the Boxing Day truncation to be called off.
Just weeks ahead of the Boxing Day truncation date, Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes told the crowd she was a proud representative of the council trying to protect Newcastle's east end.
Earlier Save Our Rail president Joan Dawson told the crowd her group's support of retaining the rail line will continue even if it is cut, while Newcastle Trades Hall's Daniel Wallace said "we'll make sure they don't cut the rail line".
Cries of "Save our rail, save our city" and the direct "Don't cut the rail" echoed through Newcastle's east end as protesters marched against the impending rail truncation, closing streets as they passed.
The crowd gathered in Civic Park shortly before midday, with traffic banked up at the Darby and King Street intersection as the large procession made its way through.
Early estimates of about 500 quickly rose beyond the 1000 mark, with some rail supporters claiming the figure was as high as 5000.
But social media is alight with debate over what the protest's crowds mean for the city, and whether halting the rail line has support.
The protesters heard from several Labor and Greens politicians including NSW Opposition leader John Robertson, who urged the throng to maintain the rage against the Boxing Day rail truncation.
Greens Senator Janet Rice has told hundreds of protesters assembled in Newcastle's east that the time has come for the government to listen to the opposition to truncating the rail line.
Hundreds gathered in Pacific Park for the protest long before they began walking at about 11am.
Dogs, bagpipes and an "ATM man" were among the colourful costumes on display.
Many in the growing throng said they crammed into packed train carriages to reach the rally.
NSW Opposition leader John Robertson, flanked by Save Our Rail president Joan Dawson and several other speakers, told the crowd that Premier Mike Baird lacked "legal permission" to cut the rail line.
Mr Robertson said his party would "reinstate public transport to the CBD" if elected in March.
The crowd has prepared several chants for the journey, including demanding authorities "keep your greedy mitts off our rail".
Speakers included Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes, Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp and Greens transport spokeswomen Mehreen Faruqi and Senator Janet Rice.
Save Our Rail president Joan Dawson, Newcastle Trades Hall secretary Daniel Wallace and Newcastle University Students' Union transport spokesman Phillip Johnston also addressed the crowd.