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Nikolai Garin — real name Nikolai Georgiyevich Mikhailovsky (1852-1906) was a writer and gifted railway engineer who helped select the route that the Transsiberian railway took over the Ob river in Siberia. His novel, Tyoma’s Childhood (Chtenia 04), was a huge success and two more volumes in the trilogy followed: Gymnasiasts, and Students. He also wrote travelogs of his journeys in the Russian Far East, while surveying for the railroad.