The city has an elevation of 87 meters (285 ft) above mean sea level at its highest point.
Omsk is an important railroad hub, and is the junction point for the northern and southern branches of the Trans-Siberian Railway.
Omsk was proclaimed the capital of Russia, and its central bank was tasked with safekeeping the former empire's gold reserves.
These were guarded by a garrison of former Czechoslovakian POWs trapped in Siberia by the chaos of World War I and the subsequent Revolution.
The waterways connect Omsk with the coal and mineral-mining towns further up the river in Kazakhstan, as well as with the oil, natural gas and lumber operations of northern Siberia.
Omsk is served by the Tsentralny Airport, which offers access to domestic and international (primarily, German and Kazakh) destinations, making the city an important aviation hub for Siberia and the Russian Far East.
Omsk received new life as a result of World War II.
Because it was both far from the fighting and had a well-developed infrastructure, Omsk provided a perfect haven for much of the industry evacuated away from the frontlines in 1941. The Kirov Factory and Omsk Transmash design bureau (KBTM) produced T-80 tanks from the 1970s, and were responsible for the BTR-T, TOS-1, and the prototype Black Eagle tank. In the 1950s, following the development of the oil and natural-gas field in Siberia, an oil-refining complex was built, along with an entire "town of oil workers", expanding Omsk northward along the Irtysh.
Most of the city's large businesses, which had previously been state owned, were fought over by members of the former party elite, the emerging nouveau riche, and fast growing criminal syndicates.Soon after the October Revolution, anti-Bolshevik White forces seized control of Omsk.The "Provisional All-Russian Government" was established here in 1918, headed by the Arctic explorer and decorated war hero Admiral Kolchak.For a brief period during the Russian Civil War in 1918–1920, it served as the capital of the anti-Bolshevik Russian State and held the imperial gold reserves.Omsk is the administrative center of the Siberian Cossack Host.