The 2 Seventh Avenue Express is a rapid transit service in the A Division of the New York City Subway. Its route emblem, or "bullet", is colored tomato red since it uses the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line through most of Manhattan. The 2 operates at all times between 241st Street in Wakefield, Bronx and Flatbush Avenue–Brooklyn College in Flatbush, Brooklyn, making all stops in the Bronx and Brooklyn. Daytime 2 service runs express in Manhattan; late night service operates local. The service operates via White Plains Road in the Bronx, Lenox Avenue and Seventh Avenue in Manhattan and Eastern Parkway and Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn. Limited rush hour service also operates between the Bronx and New Lots Avenue in East New York, Brooklyn due to capacity issues at Flatbush Avenue.
The first section of what became the current 2 entered service on November 26, 1904 from the temporary 180th Street–Bronx Park terminal via the West Farms El to 149th Street–3rd Avenue. On July 10, 1905, the connection between the IRT Lenox Avenue Line and IRT White Plains Road Line (which was previously served by the Third Avenue El) opened, allowing subway service from Manhattan to the Bronx.
On January 9, 1908, the Joralemon Street Tunnel opened, connecting the current IRT Lexington Avenue Line to Brooklyn. At this time, trains ran from East 180th Street to Borough Hall. On May 1, 1908, trains were extended to Nevins Street and Atlantic Avenue.
On March 3, 1917, the IRT White Plains Road Line was extended to 219th Street. On March 31, 1917, the IRT White Plains Road Line was extended to 238th Street–Nereid Avenue, and to Wakefield–241st Street on December 13, 1920. On August 1, 1918, the entire IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line was completed. On April 15, 1919, the Clark Street Tunnel, connecting the line to Brooklyn, opened as well.
Beginning on December 19, 1919, trains ran to South Ferry with some rush hour trains to Atlantic Avenue. In 1923, during rush hours, 2 trains alternated between South Ferry and Utica Avenue. Beginning December 1, 1924, 2 trains that ended at South Ferry were extended to New Lots Avenue.
As of 1934, 2 trains ran from 180th Street-Bronx Park to Flatbush Avenue weekdays and Saturday during daytime and to South Ferry evenings and Sundays, express in Manhattan. Late-night service was from 241st St to South Ferry, making all stops. There were occasional lay-up/put-ins from New Lots. Four weekday evening trains turned at Atlantic. On September 5, 1937, some evening rush hour trains started running to Flatbush Avenue.
As of July 1, 1938, weekday and Saturday evening service was extended to Flatbush Avenue from South Ferry.
Sunday service was extended to Flatbush Avenue on March 5, 1950.
Beginning on December 26, 1950, alternate weekday rush trains were extended to 241st Street in the peak direction, but PM rush service to 241st Street was discontinued on June 26, 1952. Beginning on August 4, 1952, the 180th Street - Bronx Park station was closed, with trains rerouted to East 180th Street. Morning rush hour service to 241st Street, on October 2, 1953, was cut back to Gun Hill Road.
On March 19, 1954, weekend service was rerouted to New Lots Avenue at all times except late nights. On May 4, 1957, a track connection to the IRT Dyre Avenue Line was completed and daytime 2 trains were rerouted to Dyre Avenue. Evening service remained a shuttle between Dyre Avenue to East 180th Street, and morning rush service from Gun Hill Road was discontinued. On December 20, 1957, weekday trains were rerouted to New Lots Avenue at all times except late nights. On June 26, 1958, late night service began between Dyre Avenue and East 180th Street. Beginning on December 12, 1958, late night service was extended to Flatbush Avenue, and the 2 began running express at all times. Beginning February 6, 1959, trains ran between Wakefield–241st Street and Flatbush Avenue at all times except late nights, when they ran between East 180th Street and New Lots Avenue.
Beginning on April 8, 1960, daytime service was rerouted from Dyre Avenue to 241st Street, and service in Brooklyn was rerouted from New Lots Avenue to Flatbush Avenue. At the same time, late night service was rerouted from Flatbush Avenue to New Lots Avenue.
Beginning on April 16, 1965, evening service was extended from East 180th Street to 241st Street, and in addition daytime service was rerouted from Flatbush Avenue to New Lots Avenue.
On July 10, 1983, the 2 and 3 services swapped Brooklyn terminals. Trains began running between Wakefield–241st Street and Flatbush Avenue at all times, making local stops in Bronx and Brooklyn and express stops in Manhattan. This move enabled the 3's equipment to be inspected and maintained at the Livonia Shop, as the 3 service's equipment were assigned to Livonia Yard.
From March 2 to October 12, 1998, the IRT Lenox Avenue Line was rehabilitated. On weekdays, 2 trains ran via the IRT Lexington Avenue Line between 149th Street–Grand Concourse and Nevins Street uptown from 5:00 a.m. to midnight and downtown from midnight to 5:00 a.m. Beginning on October 3, 1999, late-night express service in Manhattan was discontinued, with the 2 making all stops.
After September 11, 2001, 2 trains became local in Manhattan at all times (so they would not be delayed behind 3 trains terminating at 14th Street). Normal service resumed on September 15, 2002.
The following table shows the lines used by the 2, with shaded boxes indicating the route at the specified times:
For a more detailed station listing, see the articles on the lines listed above.