Possibly the most important information to come to light during the investigations was provided by testimony by Worthington Smith concerning financing of the Milwaukee's car fleet. The Milwaukee was justly famous for its huge fleet of homebuilt boxcars and the equipment trust certificates had long been paid off on them. Since there were no finance charges on these cars, they provided a higher return of net revenue. Starting in the early 60's however, the Milwaukee had started using these cars as a means of generating cash by rebuilding a portion of the fleet and reselling them to a financial institution. They would then lease them back with the cars never actually leaving the property. What started out small, in 1961such lease charges only amounted to $3 million, quickly grew to over $20 million in 1969. Each year more and more of the fleet would be rebuilt, sold, and leased back while new car purchases dropped accordingly. In 1974 the Road was spending more on it's old, rebuilt fleet than it was on new cars and by 1977 it was spending an astounding $65 million dollars per year for it's rebuilds while spending less than $20 million on new. It became a viscious circle where the company had to rebuild and sell cars to be able to pay the charges on it's existing fleet. This practice was likely the biggest single downfall of the company, as it deprived it of both money and an adequate, modern car supply.