Years ago I discovered Russian puzzle designer Kirill Grebnev's "Step" puzzle. Although the individual elements of the puzzle were not new, I found that the way he combined them was novel and made for a very interesting and elegant puzzle. I was particularly taken with the way in which his puzzle incorporated a flexible ring, and I felt that I might be able to incorporate this feature into an equally interesting, but hopefully much more difficult Livewire Puzzles design.
Part of the beauty of Grebnev's "Step" puzzle is its simplicity. My research eventually took me back to a very old and very difficult traditional puzzle which we still produce as the Ball and Ring puzzle. Over a period of several months I incorporated features of the two puzzles into numerous prototypes. Some of the designs were trivial, hence less interesting; while others were unsolvable. We think that the design presented here as "Off the Rails" has the perfect balance of difficulty, elegance and visual appeal.