Recently, a few regular operators referred to the area west of CP282 as a 'tunnel.' I started to think about that a while back, and have long planned to make some changes there to better illuminate the area to suggest the main line curves into the woods. This image shows the issue - trains disappear into a dark cavern even with the lights fully lit.
This is a challenge given that there are no tunnels anywhere near Syracuse on the Conrail main line. New York Central called this the Water Level Route, and the only tunnels on the main line are east of Albany!
Based on a few ideas I'd read in Model Railroader in articles written by well-known author Paul Dolkos, the right combination of scenery and lighting behind the backdrop can effectively trick the eye so that it hardly notices the backdrop at all. The main line looks to continue out of view, but on the far side of the backdrop. The trick for me was to do that with some sort of dimmable light that was evenly spread through the visible area behind the backdrop, allowing this lighting to compliment the room lighting for my overnight operations.
The Internet revealed a number of dimmable LED light strips - a perfect solution. Some even came with a kit for quick installation, and remote control operation. I settled on one commonly available at Home Depot. After installing a tree canopy on the far wall, and installing the LED lighting in a back-and-forth manner to increase the lumens in an even manner, I turned on the remote and the results really were remarkable.
It is hard to imagine I did without this for so long!