An instrument developed for high accuracy calibration of line scales up to 1.16 m is described. The instrument is based on an earlier design from the early 1990s. Since then, in order to improve performance and achieve smaller uncertainty, large portions of software, mechanics and optics have been redesigned and several uncertainty components better characterized. The software has been developed to be less sensitive to imperfections of the line mark. In order to decrease noise and deformation coupling in interferometric measurement, the interferometer operating principle has been designed to use a fibre-coupled laser light, interferometer optics have been improved for better phase adjustment and detection and a differential interferometer principle has been taken into use. In order to minimize the effects due to deformations of the stone table rail with moving heavy carriage, a separate bed has been designed under line scale supports. The bed with fixed differential reflector prevents deformations of the table from affecting the line scale versus interferometer position. The main properties of the instrument are described and an uncertainty estimate is presented. The expanded uncertainty (k = 2) for line distance calibration of high-quality low-thermal-expansion line scale is U = [(4.5 nm)2 + (43 × 10−9 L)2]½, where L is the measured length. The results of international comparisons support the uncertainty estimate.