One way to think about it is as a newton's cradle sorta deal. It's not perfect, but fairly close. Also maybe flicking a jump rope - energy propagates, but the bits of rope don't move from beginning to end.
Flicking a jump rope sounds more akin to AC to me, though. Maybe, pulsed DC?
What about a train or bumper car analogy (not joking)?
I would really like to see this as a visualization.