Brittney Robinson said she was having trouble getting her stroller folded up and onto the train at a Sacramento station, so she told the driver to wait.
Robinson said another passenger helped her by holding the one-year-old baby while she got the stroller folded and stowed. However, she said, the train left anyway.
The mother said she believes the driver left without her on purpose. She said was was crying and "hysterical" when a transit guard came to her assistance.
"He shouldn't have been as rude as he was to me," Robinson said.
Regional Transit spokeswoman Alane Masui said the train operator reported a child was separated from the mother after the train departed from the Power Inn Station.
Masui said a transit guard went with the mother on the next train that was headed to the University/65th Street station.
According to Robinson, the driver drove the train past that station -- where the woman holding the baby was waiting -- and the RT dispatcher made the driver go back so the mother and child could be reunited.
The mother and child were separated for about 10 minutes, Masui said.
"I felt like I had been away from my daughter forever," Robinson said.
The train operator would not intentionally separate a mother and a child, Masui said, and wasn't aware of the situation until after the train pulled out.
RT said there are signs at stations asking parents to fold up strollers before boarding.
Loading time for trains is about 30 to 35 seconds, Masui said.
This article originally appeared on KCRA.com.